Gloomy Brits looking for a pick me up are being encouraged to switch up their diet with some mood boosting foods.
The nutrition experts at Goal Getters at MuscleFood.com have put together a list of eleven foods which will help lift mood.
Making the list are fruity favourites including bananas and berries and vegetables like leafy greens and sweet potatoes.
The experts also suggest adding more fatty fish to your diet and enjoying cups of coffee and dark chocolate.
Ashleigh Tosh from Goal Getters at MuscleFood.com said: “January can be a tricky time of year – the long cold nights and not a lot to look forward to after Christmas and New Year can bring your mood down.
“There are lots of small changes you can make to improve your mood. Exercise is the obvious one and another is food.
“Certain foods contain different vitamins and minerals which will give you a natural boost. Added to that they’re a healthy and tasty alternative to the high sugar and fat foods we all crave when we’re feeling low.”
Here are Goal Getters by MuscleFood.com’s list of the foods to enjoy to boost your mood.
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants which increases serotonin – the feel good chemical in your brain. Do eat in moderation. A few squares is all you need.
- Omega 3
Omega 3 is found in fatty fish and has lots of positive benefits. Salmon is a great source of omega 3 – this tasty fish is also high in protein, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can be linked to depression.
As well as being a healthy and tasty snack, bananas are high in vitamin B6 and serotonin – the neurotransmitter which balances mood. They’re also packed with micronutrients including potassium which helps regulate heart function and fluid balance.
Berries encourage the brain to release serotonin. Blueberries are particularly good – they’re also full of antioxidants, phytoflavinoids, high in potassium, vitamin C and are anti-inflammatory.
- Leafy greens
Leafy greens like spinach, kale and watercress are packed with folate and magnesium which help boost mood and reduce anxiety. They’re also full of vitamins and minerals.
Lentils are packed with tryptophan which the body uses to produce mood-boosting serotonin. They’re a source of iron and vitamin B1 and rich in fibre, folate and potassium which are all good for heart health and managing blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Fermented foods
Fermented foods help balance the bacteria in your gut and produce feel good chemicals like serotonin. Better gut health also boosts immunity and digestion.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin B6. This vitamin encourages serotonin. They’re also full of other B vitamins, vitamin C and fibre.
Not only is this fruit super tasty, it’s also full of unsaturated fats, fibres and phytochemicals which strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation.
A few cups of coffee a day can lead to a more positive mood. The caffeine decreases mental tiredness, improves concentration and makes you more alert.
Eggs are a great staple food and are high in protein, Vitamin D and B12. They’re packed with amino acids, omega 3, fatty acids, zinc and magnesium which all help with anxiety. They’re also full of the nutrient choline which helps produce neurotransmitters and improve mood.