The food we eat can make a huge difference to our health but also has an impact on our mood! Here are some tips for eating food that will help keep your spirits high!
Have fish a few times a week
Fish contains heart healthy fats that are called omegas, which have also been shown in studies to promote positive mood states. Research has illustrated that omega 3 fatty acids from fish has a good effect on mood swings in post natal depression, but also, men and women who include fish in their diets frequently, actually have lower rates of depression. Some great types of fish to add to your diet include salmon and sardines. Why not make a vitamin packed fish pie and top it with some sweet potato?
Eat selenium rich food daily
Selenium is a mineral that plays a huge role in mood regulation. It works as an antioxidant and is relevant to your mood due to the fact that oxidative stress in the brain is linked to depression. Research, although a lot has yet to be discovered, indicates that a diet rich in selenium may reduce depression symptoms, particularly in elderly populations where a lot of this research was based. There are many common foods that can be easily incorporated into your diet, that are great sources of selenium from wholegrains, to lean meats such as turkey, low fat dairy foods such as milk and yoghurt and nuts and seeds. Why not make a selenium rich granola and add it to some low fat yoghurt as a snack!
Ensure your diet is rich in fruit and vegetables.
This one is a no brainer, yet many of us still struggle to meet our minimum of five a day in the fruit and vegetable department. Fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals crucial to good overall health. If you do no get enough in, you are bound to get run down and pick up bugs and viruses and just feel pretty glum in general. Try and set yourself targets of reaching the minimum amount and work from there to get more into your diet on a daily basis. Consider sneaking extra vegetables into your diet by making your own sauces at home, and try build your desserts around fruit, for example consider a baked apple with some toasted nuts and zero syrup on top for a delicious treat!
Limit your alcohol intake
Although many people like to drink socially and it makes them feel good and helps them to unwind, alcohol is actually a depressant. Drink it in moderation and try not to overdo it as hangovers will no doubt put a dampner on your mood. Alcohol can also impair the quality of your sleep, making you feel tired and sluggish the next day.
Eat enough protein
Protein is not just important for recovery and growing some muscle, it’s also crucial for a healthy brain function and the regulation of thoughts and feelings. Make sure you are eating enough protein by including a good source with every meal. Great sources of protein include lean meats and also dairy, nuts and fish.
Watch your caffeine intake
Caffeine is great for giving you a boost in the morning, and many of us can’t function without a quick cup of the good stuff before we head out the door. But sometimes less is more, and this applies to caffeine. Too much caffeine can wreck havoc on your mood, as it may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep and also causes you to feel anxious as it is a stimulant. Caffeine is also present in fizzy drinks such as coke and energy drinks. Consider reducing your caffeine levels if you find you are becoming too reliant on it through the day, and it may also be wise to ban it in the afternoon in order to prevent it affecting your sleep later on, if you are sensitive to its effects.
Are you getting enough iron in your diet?
Iron deficiency can be a very real issue for ladies due to menstruation and one of the tell tale signs can be fatigue of varying levels. It can be really tough to feel bright and motivated when you are exhausted and irritable, so if you have noticed you are feeling particularly tired lately, it might be wise to visit your GP and get your iron levels checked. Food rich in iron includes red meat and leafy green vegetables such as spinach.
Take home message
Eating a healthy balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals will certainly contribute to a greater sense of well being and will improve your overall health. Consider putting a few of the tips from this article into action and see what mood boost you can achieve!