Improving your Mood with Food

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This time of year can feel a bit depressing. You have the come down after the celebrations of Christmas and New Year, the weather is cold and dark and the spring and summer months feel far away. Many of us also feel tired and sluggish after the excesses of Christmas.

What you eat can play a huge role in how you feel at this time of year. Here are my tips for improving your mood with food.

good mood food

  1. Reduce refined sugar

Refined sugar can have a dramatic impact on your blood sugar levels. It might be tempting to reach for a chocolate bar for a pick me up, but that sugar high will quickly be followed by an energy crash that will leave you feeling grouchy and in need of more sugar! Try snacking on fresh or dried fruit with some nuts for a healthier pick me up that will keep your energy and your moods more stable.almonds

  1. Stay healthily hydrated

What you drink can also influence how you feel. At this time of year it’s just as important to stay well hydrated as it is in the summer. Reduce alcohol and caffeine and drink more water to feel awake and refreshed. At this time of year, a warm herbal or green tea might be more appealing than a glass of cold water!

  1. Don’t restrict any food groups for long periods of time

After the Christmas excesses it might be tempting to restrict certain foods, in a bid to detox, but this could be detrimental to your mood. Our bodies need healthy fats from foods such as oily fish, nuts and avocado to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and manufacture the ‘happy’ hormones that make us feel good. Just as important is eating the right carbohydrates including fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains as these provide vital nutrients as well as keeping your energy levels more stable.

  1. Check you’re getting enough vitamin D

An important vitamin to think about at this time of year is vitamin D. This is usually manufactured by sunlight on the skin, which is of course scarce at this time of year. If you feel a bit down, consider supplementing with vitamin D or eating foods fortified with vitamin D.

  1. Eat foods that boost serotonin

Serotonin is a neuro transmitter which functions in the central nervous system and plays a big role in mood, sleep and appetite. Boost your serotonin levels by eating foods that contain the amino acid Tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin. It is found in foods such as chicken, turkey, yoghurt, oats, dried dates, sesame seeds and chickpeas.

 

Try out some of these tips and put an end to feeling down in the winter!

Laura Agar Wilson

wholeheartedlyhealthy.com

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