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7 foods to boost your mood

When we’re feeling low, we often experience the need to comfort ourselves through food and eating our feelings. Even though this seems like an unhealthy decision to take, there is some truth in being able to eat our ways to happiness. Certain foods contain elements to them that actually do boost our moods and make us feel a little happier.

To help you increase your serotonin levels and make your day somewhat brighter, we have seven of the top mood boosting foods.

1. wholegrains

Not only are they delicious and enjoyed in many different ways, but wholegrains are reported to help boost your mood. Many wholegrains contain two different elements which really help when it comes to keeping those spirits up, and those are B vitamins and fiber.

B vitamins are used within the body to turn glucose into energy, which in turn helps convert amino acids into serotonin which is the body’s natural happy hormone. You can find these from sources such as quinoa or bulgar - perfect for cooking and adding to salads or soups.

Oats are seen as one of the best wholegrains as they contain fiber which helps to stabilise blood sugar levels which can boost mood. Not only this but if you’re breastfeeding oats are good to eat to help milk production.

2. dark chocolate

Chocolate contains compounds that are believed to help boost your mood and keep your feeling happier. It’s thought that the sweet snack has beneficial and healthy aspects to it which can boost your brain health and regulate moods.

It also has a high hedonic rating which means that eating chocolate boosts your mood because it tastes good, smells good and feels good to eat - all of which are pleasurable aspects for the human body.

Even though there are beneficial effects of eating chocolate, it’s better to opt for dark chocolate as it’s not as sugary or fatty as milk or white chocolate, and therefore you can indulge a little more.

3. fermented foods

The word fermented has never been typically appealing, but it doesn’t mean that you have to eat old eggs or anything not appetising. In fact, fermented foods come in all different forms and some of those are even delicious drinks that you can learn how to make at home.

Some of the most popular fermented foods include kombucha, yogurt and kimchi - all of which are healthy and taste good. It’s believed that serotonin is produced in the stomach (there really are links between eating & happiness!) and therefore having a healthy digestive system is key to this.

Fermented foods have probiotics in them that promote a healthy gut and also look after your immune system too. Therefore making sure that your tummy tells your brain that it’s healthy and happy.

4. eggs

How do you like your eggs in the morning? We like ours with all the healthy mood boosting properties that they have! Looking after the brain is one of the main ways that you can keep a good mood; eggs contain a nutrient called choline that helps produce neurotransmitters and are an antioxidant, both which look after the brain. Eggs also contain B12, vitamin D and lots of protein so they will really look after you.

If you’re pregnant you might be worried about eating eggs, but many nutritionists have said that as long as you are cooking your own eggs and they are very well cooked (think boiled) then you are safe to eat them. The reason eggs were often warned against is because they can harbour bacteria when they are not fully cooked, but when cooked they have lots of health benefits!

5. fatty fish

Fish has so many benefits to it, and therefore is an important part of a varied and healthy diet. Fatty fish in particular is really great as evidence suggest that it has a lot of omega-3 acids which are amazing when it comes to brain health, and as we already mentioned - healthy brains help keep us feeling good.

Some studies have also suggested that consuming fatty fish can help to decrease depression. You can easily incorporate some fish into your diet with a wide selection of different types including salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and swordfish. One brain boosting breakfast idea is to have scrambled eggs with salmon.

6. leafy greens & bright berries

There is a reason that our parents always told us to eat our greens, and that one apple a day eats the doctor away. Both leafy greens and berries are thought to keep the human body healthy and also boost overall mood levels - and they’ve even been linked to decreasing depression.

Berries contain antioxidants which are good for general health and also contribute to reducing oxidative stress, something which can bring your mood down.

Low iron levels have been linked to unstable moods and anxiety, therefore increasing your iron levels is thought it help increase your mood. Leafy greens contain iron, b vitamins and antioxidants. So eating your fruits and vegetables really is important to staying well.

7. lentils

Again, it’s all about getting those B vitamins in to really make sure you’re keeping your mood at a level that keeps you smiling. Not only do B vitamins improve serotonin but they also increase your level of dopamine and norepinephrine which are known for helping to regulate your mood, and control your emotions.

Having a good intake of B vitamins also ensures that your nervous system is staying healthy, another controlling factor over the human’s mood. Lentils are easy to eat and can be added to your diet in many different ways including dahl, soups or as alternatives to meat in dishes such as bolognese. They contain iron, protein and are perfect for vegetarian and vegan diets.

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