Nutrition

Foods and our Moods

Did you know that food has the ability to improve your mood, energy levels and concentration. 

When it comes to your mood, foods have the ability to support our feelings of wellbeing. 

But what foods can we eat to make us feel great! 

Food rich in Complex carbohydrates can help increase availability of the feel-good chemical serotonin in your brain. 

Wholegrains such as oats contain fibre to help support blood sugar levels as well as B vitamins, which are vital for brain health.

vitamin B1 is involved in turning glucose into energy, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is needed to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (involved in learning and memory), vitamin B6 helps to convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin, and vitamin B12 is involved in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, among others, all of which help to regulate mood.

Oats are rich in soluble fiber, which helps to level out blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into the blood. Oats are also a great source of iron with one cup of oats containing 19g of iron. Low iron levels have been associated with lethargy and mood disorders. 

Protein has been linked to higher levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are brain chemicals that play a role in your mood. 

Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants that nourish your body and have also been shown to boost happiness.

Spinach and other green vegetables contain the B vitamin folate. Folate deficiency may impair the metabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline (neurotransmitters important for mood)

Bananas contain tryptophan the precursor for serontonin that can help to boost feelings of wellbeing. 

Berries are rich in anthocyanins that have been shown to combat risk or depression.

Eating the rainbow with a variety of vegetables and fruit fruit at each meal time can help to reduce the risk of anxiety and depression 

Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fibre, they provide tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, as well as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, are excellent sources.

Nuts and seeds are also good sources of zinc and selenium which are vital for brain function. 

Healthy fats such as omega 3 rich foods may have a role in brain functioning, with deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids linked to mental health problems. Healthy fats such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil and olives can also help to reduce symptoms of depression. 

Opting for a nutritious breakfast can help to stabilise blood sugar levels helping to avoid those energy dips and possible low moods and food cravings.

Vitamin D can help to increase the levels of serotonin, one of the key neurotransmitters influencing our mood, studies have shown that deficiency may be linked with mood disorders, particularly seasonal affective disorder. Foods rich in vitamin D include mushrooms, sardines, fortified milks, eggs but in the summer months, vitamin d from the sun is your best way of increasing levels. 
cacao is rich in magnesium, iron, and copper and has

4 mood boosting serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine, which can help with those feelings of happiness and wellbeing as well as alleviating symptoms of depression.

So making sure you have a well balanced diet including wonderful natural whole foods is so important in supporting our mental wellbeing as well as our physical health.