Now the clocks have changed and temperatures are dropping, for some people the seasonal blues start to kick in.
As well as getting plenty of sleep, taking exercise and drinking water, it is vital to look at your diet when thinking about mental health over the winter months. If you are fuelling your body with good food and vital nutrients, you are feeding your brain as well.
We have looked at some of the foods that can keep mind, body and soul in good spirits however cold and cloudy it is.
Nutritionists suggest eating 2 – 3 portions of oily fish, such as salmon, each week. The reason oily fish is thought to be a great brain food is because it is naturally high in the omega-3 needed to produce the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for our moods. It is thought that a balanced diet packed with vegetables, fruits, nuts and beans, plus fish can help manage depression and whether it is baked, grilled or served as sushi, salmon is a winner for the shopping list.
Another fantastic source of brain boosting omega 3 comes in the form of the humble walnut. Our bodies don’t function well without omega 3 and eating these as a snack can really help to reduce symptoms of depression as well as maintaining general health. If they are too bitter to eat alone, make into a smoothie, create a nut butter with added almonds, or mix with dried fruit.
Green Leafy Veg
Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach and Swiss chard are really powerful immune-boosting and anti-cancer foods that should always be part of your diet. Add to salads, roast dinners and even workout smoothies, but whatever you do, eat them.
Broccoli, berries, tomatoes, cauliflower and cabbage are great in the winter months because they are bursting with the antioxidants that help keep us healthy as well as boosting concentration levels. A rainbow of colours in your diet is always good and as well as being packed with vitamins and minerals, the vibrant collection on your plate might even make you smile.
You might not know this but mushrooms are really good for your mental health. Their chemical properties found within them oppose insulin, which helps lower blood sugar levels, and this keeps your mood even and stable and helps prevent those tricky sudden dips. They also promote healthy gut bacteria and because the nerve cells in our gut make up to 90% of our serotonin — the key neurotransmitters that keep us happy – it is vital to look after our intestinal health if we want our mental wellbeing to follow suit.
One key factor to good mental health is balanced hormone levels and this can be achieved when you eat enough plant-based oestrogen foods which include and pulses, vegetables, beans and soya bean based products like miso. You can easily add miso to your diet by having soup at lunch or dinner time or having it as an afternoon drink instead of a caffeine loaded coffee.
As well as tasting great and being totally versatile, tomatoes are on the list because they contain folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid, both of which are great depression fighters.
Back to those omega 3s with the appearance of seeds. Flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds might look tiny but they are massive when it comes to your mood because they are rich in these amazing fatty acids. Sprinkle on cereal and salads, add to soups and use them in your baking and you will be smiling all day long.
Team Pure Beauty