Feeling glum and finding your fingers have accidentally slipped into the biscuit tin for the 20th time today? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! But did you know that these kind of indulgences may actually be playing havoc with your mood? I know… it’s hard to believe that something so sweet can take a sour effect on your mental health!... Fear not though; there are plenty of delicious, mood-boosting alternatives that you can graze on –foods that we will be taking you through in this blog-post!
…Yes you heard us right, you have the green flag for eating chocolate, but for the very best results for your mind and waist-line, you should try and stick to snacking on small portions of dark chocolate! But why?...Well, research conducted by Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland found that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks actually reduced levels of stress hormones. This is likely thanks to the various antioxidants found in dark chocolate – result!
For a fruitier alternative, why not grab a handful of juicy blueberries to boost your mood? Packed with multiple antioxidants such as flavonoids which not only regulate mood, but also improve memory and brain-aging, blueberries are a real all-rounder when it comes to brain-boosting benefits. Plus, these sweet little fruits make for a great topping for pancakes, cereals and yoghurts, or as a stand-alone pick-by-pick snack.
We touched on yoghurt being a great food to pair with brain-boosting blueberries, but did you know that yoghurt could be as good for your mood as it is for your gut?...Well, that’s what recent studies on animals and humans are suggesting having linked well-balanced gut bacteria with better moods, lesss tress and anxiety, plus lower risk of depression.
Despite being viewed as the marmite of the snack-world, nuts certainly reign supreme when it comes to helping you feel full and happy. As well as being high in protein, healthy fats and fibre, nuts such as walnuts, cashews, peanuts and almonds also provide a great source of tryptophan - an amino acid responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin.
Almonds also provide a good source of zinc and selenium. These minerals are important for brain function and are also thought to combat feelings of depression,making this nut the king of the mood-boosting nuts!
Chomping on a banana could help you to turn your frown upside-down thanks to the high dose of vitamin B6 that this fruit contains. But why is this vitamin important? Well, this clever vitamin helps to synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin which serve to improve your mood!
Also high in sugar and fibre, this filling fruit also ensures sugar is slowly released into blood-stream for better-mood control; clever right?
So, why not have a go at changing you snacking habits to include these mood-boosting foods and see if you notice a change? … Of course,a ‘naughty’ snack full of refined sugars is okay (AMAZING) every now and again,but watch out – by increasing your intake of these kinds of snacks, your mood levels may well suffer the consequences!
Take care, stay safe, and enjoy a healthy, balanced diet!