Mood Boosters | Top Healthy Foods for a Natural Pick-Me-Up

Feeling down—or maybe just a little blah? While it may be tempting to reach for a tub of ice cream, what you eat plays a vital role in how you feel. So, while ice cream might make you feel better for the moment, chances are it’s only temporary.

There are a wide array of nutritious, satisfying and delicious foods that will have a positive and lasting effect on your mood.

Try adding these 6 mood-boosting foods to your menu.


ASHWAGNADHA

Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, an Indian form of alternative medicine based on principles of natural healing originating over 3,000 years ago. It is said Ashwagandha can alleviate stress, anxiety and fatigue, while promoting a general sense of calm. The most common way to consume Ashwagandha powder is to create a tonic or hot tea and drink before bed to promote restful sleep.

Learn more about Ashwagandha  here.


NUTRITIONAL YEAST

Nutritional yeast flakes are fortified with folic acid (folate), a B vitamin that helps develop the nervous system. Studies show folate deficiency is associated with depression, and adding more of it to your diet can help boost your mood.

Try our delicious recipe for Vegan Cheese Sauce made with nutritional yeast.


BRAZIL NUTS

It’s no secret nuts are superstars when it comes to nutrition, but Brazil Nuts may also have the power to boost your mood too. They are one of the best sources of the mineral selenium, with a content of 544 mcg per serve (compared to cashews which have about 3 mcg per serve). Studies have shown people who are low in selenium have increased rates of depression, irritability, anxiety and tiredness.

Our  Organic ABC Nut Mix is a tasty blend of almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews that makes a great snack on-the-go.


DARK CHOCOLATE

Yes, it is true, chocolate makes you happy! Thanks to the cacao bean, chocolate contains several compounds such as phenylethylamine, which boosts endorphins, and anandamide, otherwise known as ‘the bliss chemical’. Studies show that chocolate can improve mood, plus it’s a rich source of antioxidants, iron and magnesium to help us relax.

Try making your own  homemade chocolate or grab an organic & fairtrade bar from Chocolate and Love


BANANAS

It might just be a coincidence, but this smile shaped, sunshine yellow fruit may also be able to improve your mood. Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which the body needs to make mood-boosting neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin. They are also a good source of fibre, aiding in digestionand keeping your gut healthy which has been linked to mood!

Bananas make a great snack on their own - dried or fresh - or are fabulous added to smoothies. Check out our smoothie recipes  here.


LENTILS

Not only are lentils a good source of plant-based protein, vitamin B and folate, which all help to increase the production of serotonin, but they are also high in fibre. Fibre helps to steady blood sugar levels, reducing dips in energy and ‘hangry’ feelings.

Try our Meat-Free Lentil Bolognese recipe.


References

Nehlig, A. (2013). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. British Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology , 75(3), 716-727. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x

Office of Dietary Supplements - Selenium. (2020). Retrieved 15 April 2020, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/

Uma Naidoo, M. (2018). Gut feelings: How food affects your mood - Harvard Health Blog. Retrieved 15 April 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/gut-feelings-how-food-affects-your-mood-2018120715548

Young, S. (2007). Folate and depression—a neglected problem. Journal Of Psychiatry & Neuroscience , 32(2), 80. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1810582/

9th Apr 2020 Honest to Goodness

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