Good mood food

Get a boost with th­ese sci­ence-backed food fixes that help brighten your spir­its

Prevention (Australia) - - In This Issue - BY DI­ETI­TIAN MELISSA MEIER, APD

Choco­late may be the first thing that comes to mind but, no, the sci­ence-backed food fixes here are filled with nu­tri­ents that ac­tu­ally help top up the feel-good chem­i­cals such as dopamine and sero­tonin. They may al­ready be on your shop­ping list but you may want to start stock­pil­ing them in the of­fice or your hand­bag for those mo­ments when you need a quick pick me up.


Yo­ghurt is rich in a form of ‘good’ bac­te­ria known as Lac­to­bacil­lus. And there’s promis­ing re­search sug­gest­ing that get­ting plenty of this bac­te­ria may have a pos­i­tive af­fect on de­pres­sion. Add yo­ghurt to your menu but check the la­bel to make sure it con­tains Lac­to­bacil­lus aci­dophilus.


Grainy bread is a good source of long-last­ing en­ergy to power your body (and in par­tic­u­lar, your brain) through your day. That’s be­cause grainy bread con­tains low-GI car­bo­hy­drates, mean­ing the en­ergy is slowly re­leased. With­out car­bo­hy­drates in your diet, your blood sugar lev­els may fall too low and you’ll be more likely to feel lethar­gic and un­able to con­cen­trate.


Have you ever no­ticed how grumpy you be­come when you’re tired? If tired­ness is an on­go­ing com­plaint for you, per­haps it’s time to ask your GP for an iron test. That’s be­cause iron plays a key role in trans­port­ing oxy­gen around your body. For veg­e­tar­i­ans you can top up your iron lev­els with legumes such as lentils and soy­beans and nuts like pis­ta­chio, sun­flower seeds and cashews.


It’s a great source of omega-3, which helps main­tain the health of the brain’s cell mem­branes and en­cour­ages re­lease of ‘feel-good’ chem­i­cals like dopamine and sero­tonin. Tip: you can also get omega-3 from wal­nuts and dark leafy greens.


Th­ese nuts are a good source of the amino acid tryp­to­phan, which is one of the build­ing blocks of sero­tonin, thought to play a role in reg­u­lat­ing your mood. You can also get tryp­to­phan from foods like ba­nanas and milk – so, in fact, that af­ter­noon smoothie is your per­fect mood-boost­ing cock­tail!


Blue­ber­ries are rich in a type of polyphe­nol known as flavonoids – pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dants that have been linked to re­duced risk of de­pres­sion. Their high fi­bre con­tent also helps to sta­bilise blood sugar and en­ergy lev­els, which can help to re­duce anx­i­ety.

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