Whilst some of us love wrapping up warm and kicking the leaves in the park, for others the cool winds of autumn are unwelcome and can create feelings of sadness and lead to snacking and comfort eating.
Whilst cakes and crisps might taste great, not only can the add to your waistline but doing so may make you feel sluggish and more tired and lethargic than ever.
We have put together our top mood boosting foods that will make you want to grab your trainers and run out of the door rather than hide under the duvet until spring.
Eggs are the perfect mood food you can enjoy at any time of the day. Eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, have them boiled, poached or scrambled and you simply can’t go wrong. One the reasons they are so good for you is because they are jam packed with protein that the body breaks down into the amino acids that make neurotransmitters and keep our mood balanced. What are you waiting for – buy a dozen today.
Another breakfast winner is porridge. Oats boost your mood because they have a naturally low glycaemic index (GI) so they slowly release energy into the bloodstream. This means both your blood sugar levels and mood are kept stable and you don’t get that mid-morning slump. Oats also contain the selenium as well as Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins that all play a role in producing and stabilising mood boosting brain chemicals. Start the day with a bowl of porridge made with semi-skimmed milk and add nuts or yoghurt for protein packed bonus points.
Bananas are a very, very happy snack. Either slice onto a bowl of fortified cereal with semi-skimmed milk or blend into a healthy smoothie together with mood boosting blackberries. As well as being full of potassium, bananas also boast high levels of the happy hormone, serotonin, which can also be found in plums, tomatoes, kiwis and walnuts.
Snacking on nuts and seeds rather than crisps and sweets, can be a great way to fill up and keep smiling. Full of protein, these once again can help with the production of neurotransmitters and help keep our mood balanced and mind focused.
A great way to keep a smile on your face and a skip in your step is to eat fish. Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, wild salmon and tuna are a fantastic source of the omega 3s that are vital for healthy brain function and good mood. Don’t just have fish on Friday, instead enjoy a severing two or three times a week with rice and steamed vegetables or with a jacket sweet potato and avocado slices.
If you like chocolate, you’ll be delighted to know that a little bit of dark chocolate can be good for you. We aren’t saying buy the biggest pack and eat it in one sitting, but having one square of dark, organic, unprocessed chocolate a day can help to deal with anxiety and stress. This is because it contains the antioxidant, falvonols, which can have a positive impact on your mood.
Try switching red meat for turkey at least once a week. We say this because it is a rich protein full of feel good serotonin from an amino acid, Tryptophan. Tryptophan occurs naturally in turkey as well as some dairy products, dried dates and soya. To get most happiness from these foods, eat them with a small portion of carbohydrate to increase the absorption rate and conversion to serotonin and feel that smile creep onto your face.
Believe it or not, if you feel below par, reaching for cinnamon can be better than eating large slice of cake and mug of sugary tea. These kinds of food might give us a quick fix but in no time at all you will be feeling down in the mouth again. Sprinkling a teaspoon of cinnamon onto peanut butter or porridge or drinking a warming cup of cinnamon tea can keep blood sugar levels balanced and mood even.
So, next time you go shopping, think about what will make you happy before you put it in your trolley.