Diet plays a big role in how happy you are, so with the help of dietitian Helen Bond, we’ve got the foods to help you smile
Diet plays a big role in how happy you are, so try these foods to help you smile
If your spirits are in need of a lift, look no further than your kitchen. While you may be tempted to grab the sugary treats, reach for these healthier options that promise to boost your mood* (and health!) instead... 1. Salmon
This power food is packed with vitamin B12, which is vital for steering clear of depression and maintaining mental health. Salmon also contains mood-stabilising fatty acids. Helen reveals that omega-3 fats, especially DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that’s a component of every cell in your body) are highly concentrated in the brain and are important for normal brain function and overall mental health.
2. Strawberries Ahh, a summer favourite! They taste great and are rich in vitamin C, which, new studies show, may play a role in regulating mood.
‘ Wholegrain carbs release their energy slowly, keeping blood-sugar levels steady – so they’re better for refuelling the brain and enhancing mood,’ says Helen.
Lentils are rich in folate (vitamin B9), which may show promise in helping to ease depression symptoms. Studies show that folate helps break down the amino acid homocysteine (high levels may be linked to depression).
5. Av ocados
These protect your heart, are packed with fibre, and have been shown to act as natural hormone balancers in women, which allows your brain to make the right chemicals needed to ensure you feel good.
6. Chicken & turkey
Both chicken and turkey are a good source of mood-boosting tryptophan. This amino acid helps increase melatonin levels in the brain, which regulates sleep and is vital for a healthy mind and body.
Like poultry, this fab lunchbox filler is also packed with tryptophan, along with vitamins B6 and C, plus potassium – a great all-rounder!
8. Raw nuts
Helen explains, ‘All nuts are rich in plant protein, fibre, unsaturated fats, vitamin E, and magnesium – which is important for psychological wellbeing.’ Stick to a small handful, though!
A great veggie that’s full of vitamins, spinach is also high in iron. Helen warns, ‘ Tiredness, poor concentration and a low mood can be attributed to anaemia – an energy-zapping condition that’s caused by low iron levels.’
10. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds contain L-tyrosine – an amino acid that helps boost dopamine levels in the brain. But how do we get them into our diet? Sprinkle on salads and soups, or add them to a smoothie.
Full of antioxidants, which have been found to affect mood. No overdosing on wine, though! Stay happy with a bunch of fresh, red grapes instead.