I’ve found that mood and food go hand in hand. One of the biggest fluctuations when it comes to mood changes is appetite. Sometimes, you might overeat, and others you may not feel like eating at all.
Food and eating is something I tend to struggle with, and when I begin to acknowledge overeating or just having zero interest in food, it tends to be a trigger to show me that something isn’t quite right.
But, unfortunately, recent research shows that the food we eat can boost or lower our moods, increase the risk of mental health problems and overall mind frame, so it looks like slobbing out with a chocolate bar and an energy drink for tea is off the cards.
In fact, junk food can increase your chances of developing Depression, whilst alcohol and coffee can also produce much more Anxiety. So no more takeaways after a big night out followed by a gallon of coffee the morning after…
Low-carb and high protein diets have also been slated and can increase chances of Depression due to your body having a lack of energising sugars and carbs – leaving you feeling sluggish and low.
There’s plenty of tasty foods to focus on though, and research suggests living with a Mediterranean style diet helps to keep our minds happy and our bodies healthy.
A diet that consists of ‘good fats’ found in nuts, fish, seeds and vegetables are all on the list of Happy Mind Foods, along with a number of wholegrain products. Whilst wholegrain breads do not produce as much serotonin as white bread, the energy release has much more ‘staying power’ meaning you’re less likely to have a sugar spike which later drops.
7 Happy Mind Foods
- Spinach is rich in iron – a great energy booster that prevents fatigue and helps us to stay focused and concentrated. As a good source of vitamin B6 and folate, it supports the brain in producing good chemicals that boost moods – such as serotonin.
- Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts ward off low moods and Anxiety, by providing the selenium mineral.
- Oily fish
Fish such as sardines and mackerel have omega-3 fatty acids which help the brain to interpret moods. Low levels of Omega 3 are linked with depression and other mood disorders, so I suppose now you’ll all be grateful to your parents for cracking out the multivitamins back in school!
Bursting with folate, avocados provide plenty of the ‘good fats’ our bodies need. Being already seen as a superfood, Avocados also help with mood-lifting and stress relieving, thanks to the presence of vitamin B6.
Rich in calcium, your delicious Mullers can ease mood swings, depression and anxiety as well as your sweet tooth.
As you probably already know, bananas are a great snack choice throughout the day between meals as they release energy at a slow and steady pace, rather than spiking our sugar levels like ‘white carbs’ would. People often advise to eat bananas before a work out to help stabilise your energy levels, so it’s no different when giving your brain a workout!
Mood swings can be easily linked to energy slumping – where in between meals, our blood sugar levels may drop and with it, our moods too.
Bananas help to stablise our blood sugar between meals and are also high in vitamin B6 like avocados, though I wouldn’t recommend having both at the same time…
So get packing your lunch boxes with happiness and let me know how you feel!