With Pride Inclusive Integrated Healthcare

GOOD MOOD FOOD 


13 August 2020

Written by 

Holly Moore

(She/Her)

Graduating Nutritionist

Food can play a huge role in the way we feel. Our stress levels have never been higher, and with social isolation in place and an uncertain future timeline of a return to “normal”, it is no wonder many of us are struggling with low mood and general anxiety. This daily stress not only affects our mental health, but is also a key driver behind inflammation and increased disease risk. The good news is that we can help nourish and support our body through food to reduce the effects of daily stress and boost our mental health. Research has shown us that regularly consuming a nourishing, wholefoods diet rich in key nutrients can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety significantly. It doesn’t have to be a complete dietary overhaul – make small changes and include what you enjoy – eating well shouldn’t be a chore!

Here are my top eight mood-boosting foods:

Eggs - these little gems are full of protein, vitamin D. vitamin B12 and choline, which can improve help mood and support the nervous system.

Tomatoes – Rich in Folate and alpha-lipoic acid, these are both key nutrients in stabilising mood. Folic acid helps to regulate levels of inflammatory Homocysteine, which can block production of serotonin and dopamine.

Oily fish - rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they play a key role in brain signalling and are linked to lower levels of depression, anxiety and PMS! Don't eat fish? Get your omega-3's from walnuts, avocados chia and flaxseeds.

Fermented food - food such as Kim chi, sauerkraut, yoghurt and kefir support the live bacteria in our digestive systems which are vital in producing serotonin (our good mood hormone!)

Dark Chocolate - not only delicious, good quality dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which have been shown to increase blood flow to your brain and regulate mood. It is also high in magnesium, vital for supporting our whole nervous system!

Nuts and seeds - high in protein, healthy fats and fibre, as well as providing tryptophan. Tryptophan is a key component in production of serotonin and supporting restful sleep. Nuts and seeds can also provide zinc (pepitas!) and selenium (Brazil nuts!), which have been linked to reduced risk of depression.

Bananas - high in vitamin B6 that is key players in the creation of feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Bananas are also an excellent source of natural sugar, fibre and prebiotics – food for our healthy gut bacteria!

Spinach and other dark leafy greens - an excellent source of Magnesium and Folate, which help to reduce anxiety, support nervous system functioning and boost brain health (among other things!).


Happy Eating!

Holly Moore 

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