Turn your frown upside down
Updated: Apr 3
Your brain functions best when it's given the best fuel. Feeling good comes from a diet that provides adequate amounts of healthy choice carbohydrate at regular times to keep blood glucose levels stable, and eating breakfast is a sensible habit. Diets should also contain a wide variety of protein and vitamin and mineral containing foods to support the body’s functions. As a rule, plenty of fruits and vegetables and wholegrain cereal foods, with some protein foods, including oily fish, will give you a good balance of the nutrients you need for both good health and good mood.
Here's a list of some foods that may help you boost your mood:
They’re high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Furthermore, one large banana(136 grams) provides 16 grams of sugar and 3.5 grams of fiber.
When paired with fiber, sugar is released slowly into your bloodstream, allowing for stable blood sugar levels and better mood control. Blood sugar levels that are too low may lead to irritability and mood swings.
Oats are a whole grain that can keep you in good spirits all morning. You can enjoy them in many forms, such as Porridge, oatmeal, muesli, and granola.
They’re an excellent source of fiber, providing 8 grams in an 81g serving. Fiber helps slow your digestion of carbs, allowing for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels stable.
Oats are also a good source of Iron. Iron deficiency, anemia, is associated with low iron intake. Its symptoms include fatigue, sluggishness and mood disorders.
Berries pack a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which play a key role in combatting oxidative stress — an imbalance of harmful compounds in your body. They’re particularly high in anthocyanins, a pigment that gives certain berries their purple/blue colour One study associated a diet rich in anthocyanins with a 39% lower risk of depression symptoms
Nuts & Seeds
Many nuts and seeds such as Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, as well as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, are excellent sources
Furthermore, certain nuts and seeds such as Brazil nuts, almonds, and pine nuts, are good sources of zinc and selenium. Deficiency in these minerals, which are important for brain function, has been associated with higher rates of depression.
TRY THIS: Drizzle Sweet Chilli dressing and honey over mixed nuts, blend well, then roast at 180C for 10-12 minutes. Makes a delicious snack or topping for a salad. Try them with Rocket and Blue Cheese and drizzle with our Raspberry & Mint Dressing.
Spinach and Broccoli
Certain deficiencies in B vitamins have been linked to depression, as serotonin production can actually be hindered by low B vitamin levels. Important B vitamins to look out for include folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12, and eating leafy green vegetables – such as spinach or broccoli – will help keep your levels up.
TRY THIS: A cup of cooked spinach provides nearly 30 per cent of your RDA of a few B vitamins, so add it to stir-fry and soups, or make a raw spinach salad for lunch drizzled with one of our Dressings which are a good sauce of Omega 3, 6 & 9, also linked to brain function and mood (see below).
Omega-3 fatty acids which are found in oily fish are a group of essential fats that you must obtain through your diet because your body can’t produce them on its own.
Fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are rich in two types of omega-3s — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — that are linked to lower levels of depression
A moment to extol the virtues of this delightful oil, popular amongst many chefs now for it's culinary use and health properties. Rapeseed oil is a rich source of omega-3, 6, 9 and Vitamin E.
Omega 3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient and in todays world where stress and environmental toxins are common it can play a hugely important role in dampening excess inflammation in the body. The inflammatory response is the body’s natural way of healing from injury and illness, however, chronic inflammation is when there is too much inflammation for too long and this is now believed to be at the root cause of many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more. Oils such as cold pressed rapeseed and flaxseed that are especially high in omega-3, when consumed regularly, are great ways to assist your body in dampening down any inflammation and may help to prevent and even lesson symptoms of some common diseases.
TRY THIS: For a big Omega-3 boost, drizzle our Lemon Dressing over salmon or tuna and cook as you like, bake, grill or fry.
Beans & Lentils
In addition to being high in fiber beans and lentils are full of feel-good nutrients. They’re an excellent source of B vitamins, with all the benefits as detailed above.
Furthermore, B vitamins play a key role in nerve signaling, which allows proper communication between nerve cells. Low levels of these vitamins, especially B12 and folate, have been linked to mood disorders, such as depression
Finally, they’re a good source of zinc, magnesium, selenium, and non-heme iron, which may likewise elevate your spirits
TRY THIS: Mix your favourite beans (from a tin), eg, kidney beans, Chickpeas. Chop up some onion, tomato and any other veg you fancy (celery, cucumber) and mix together. Drizzle generously in our Sweet Chilli Dressing and leave over night for the flavours to really develop. Serve either will some grilled chicken or simply on it's own with leafy green salad and crusty bread.
Cheese contains tryptophan, which is proven to improve your mood. Some studies have even show that tryptophan can help manage depression, stress and anxiety and that it could be as effective as light therapy. Let's not forget it tastes delicious too, which has got to put a smile on your face.
TRY THIS: Grilled Goats Cheese, Rocket, Walnuts drizzled with Balsamic Dressing.
In summary, it's all about balance, and eating what you love. Food is to be enjoyed, and just the simply act of serving up something delicious and seeing the smiles on the faces of those who are eating it, is often enough in itself to lift your spirits.