Have you recently been feeling blue, anxious, irritable, unmotivated, lethargic, or just just generally not loving life? Well, today I wanted to share with you how what you eat can actually improve your mood significantly, and naturally. To get a little scientific on you; your brain has a ton of neurotransmitters – aka chemical messengers called dopamine and serotonin – dopamine makes you feel happy, alert, excited, and motivated, serotonin helps you feel calm and content. It is important to boost your mood with feel good foods to prevent low levels of both serotonin and dopamine resulting in low moods and lack of motivation.
Here are my top 5 tips to boost your mood with food
Fill up on fats
Fats are essential for brain health, since your brain is made up of 60% fats, it is important to also feed your brain with Omega-3 type foods, to prevent feeling blue. Great sources include pumpkin seeds, walnuts, olives, avocados, coconut oil, cashews, and oily fish like salmon, mackerel. Sprinkles seeds into smoothies or on salads, snack on nuts in the afternoon, and try to have fish a few times a week, if you are vegetarian, than consume more plant based fats.
Go crazy on carbs
Okay, so I don’t mean having pizza, pasta, and panzerottis for all your meals, but implementing gluten-free whole grains in to your diet, like quinoa, brown rice and oats, will give give you a big blast of mood boosting Vitamin B. Vitamin B is essential for keeping your nervous system in tip top shape and elevating your mood to feeling happy and energetic.
Selenium is an important mineral that you need for optimal brain health. Low levels of selenium will result in a low mood, so keep your levels up by including selenium rich foods like brazil nuts, clams, sunflower seeds, gluten-free oats, grass-fed meat, organic poultry, sardines, tofu, eggs, and gluten-free pasta.
Coco for cacao
Yes, that’s right, chocolate is actually an amazing way to boost your mood, lift your spirits, and it feels like a treat at the same time. I’m not really talking about your usual snickers, or crunchy bar, I’m talking Grade A, dark, organic chocolate; 70% + cacao or 100% raw cacao made as hot choclate, stirred in smoothies, or added to desserts for a chocolaty taste. Cacao is a a super food itself and a potent antioxidant to combat ageing and illness, but it is also rich in phenylethylamine and tryptophan which produce feel good hormones. In other words including cacao in your diet will keep your serotonin and dopamine levels high. Test it for yourself by stirring2 tablespoons of raw cacao into your morning smoothie and watch more mood fly!
To maximize the benefits of feel good foods, add supplements like Vitamin B, Omega 3, and magnesium to your health plan, move your body daily to boost serotonin levels and combat stress, and lastly get fresh air and sunshine as much as you can. This will give you a natural dose of Vitamin D to lift your mood.
Stresses, and modern day living can take a toll on our happy sprits, but by including feel good foods into your diet, you should be able to keep low, blue, bad moods at bay.
Breakfast is the most important meal of your day and starting out with a feel good recipe will give you energy, boost your mood, and help you make healthier choices throughout the day.
Feel fab scramble
This is one of my favourite dishes that can be eaten any time of the day, full of flavour and filled with feel good ingredients as its rich in Omega 3, Vitamin B, selenium and vitamin D.
2 Free range eggs
1 Tbs Nutritional yeast
1 Tbs Chia seeds
1 Handful cherry tomatoes
1 Slice gluten free toast
1 Tbs organic coconut oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat a medium size pan with 1 tbs of coconut oil, lightly beat the egg and add to the pan.
- Next, add the nutritional yeast, continuing to stir until nice and fluffy.
- Top the toast with the eggs, sprinkle over the chia seeds and finish off the the cherry tomatoes.