Ever heard the saying, you are what you eat? What you choose can have a massive impact on your mood. This may explain why you’re cranky when a little hungry (#hangry) and why you feel so darn good after a tasty treat. In the long term, the right mix of nutrients can help with happiness and overall mood.
Try filling up on these nutrient-rich foods to boost your mood and concentration.
Keeping your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day is key when it comes to fostering a happier mood. Adding chickpeas, lentils and black beans and other legumes into your diet is a great way to fuel your body. Legumes are also a great source of fibre, a key nutrient for creating a healthier gut, which we all need for a happy mood.
There is a good reason leafy greens like kale, spinach and rocket are often touted as superfoods. They are extremely useful for keeping your brain functioning at its best thanks to their B group vitamins. These B vitamins help your body produce serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical that helps to lift your mood and may also prevent depression.
Wholegrains: Quinoa, brown rice & freekeh
Opting for wholegrains like oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley and freekeh is great way to get selenium in your diet, an essential nutrient for boosting your mood. These low GI carbohydrate sources will also provide your body with slow burning energy so you’re less susceptible to big highs and lows in your energy and mood.
As well as being a good source of protein, chicken also contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed by the body to produce the feel-good chemical serotonin. Tryptophan is also needed to produce melatonin, a brain-chemical that ensures you get a good nights rest. To sleep better and feel good, make sure you get some chicken or try some other sources of tryptophan like brown rice, turkey, beef, eggs, cheese or nuts.
Packed with brain-supporting omega-3 fats, salmon and other oily fish is a fantastic addition to your diet. These healthy fats help your brain build neural connections and receptor sites for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that supports your mood. Don’t eat fish? Try flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts to get your plant-based omega-3 fix.