7 Foods to Lift Your Mood
Did you know the food you eat can impact your mood? Serotonin is known as the ‘happiness hormone’. Approximately 90% of the serotonin made in our bodies is produced in the gut (the gastrointestinal tract); therefore, it’s important to focus on maintaining your gut health.
You can in fact improve your diet to achieve optimal gut health. How? By eating a diet high in: fibre from a variety of different plants (fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrains), probiotics, and Omega 3s. A key tip to optimise your gut health is to try reach 30 different plants across the week.
See our top 7 foods to include in your diet that can boost your mood, so that you feel more positive with every meal.
Eating foods high in Omega 3 fatty-acids, such as fish and seafood, has been shown to improve mental health symptoms by reducing inflammation in the body. Aim to eat 2-3 servings of fish per week.
Oats are a wholegrain source and are full of fibre. They’re hugely beneficial when it comes to improving the variety of good bacteria in your gut and supporting the mood-boosting processes.
These brain-shaped nuts are great for your mind! Walnuts have been proven to help prevent memory loss, and are also one of the richest natural sources of serotonin. They’re packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and help to combat inflammation.
Kefir is a fermented, yoghurt-like dairy drink rich in probiotics. It assists with feeding the good bacteria in your gut, which can support digestion and optimise gut health to stimulate serotonin production.
Avocadoes are packed with healthy unsaturated fats that help to reduce inflammation, fibre for optimal gut health, and antioxidants! Avocados are also a great source of folate, which helps to reduce anxiety and stress.
Potatoes are full of fibre, particularly ‘resistant starch’ – a particular type of fibre that ‘resists’ digestion in the small intestine, passing through to the large bowel. This is where the starch breaks down into micronutrients beneficial for health and protects against disease. Potatoes only contain this type of fibre when they are cooked and then cooled, which you then can reheat to eat to gain the benefits of added resistant starch!
1 cup of berries has a whopping 8 grams of fibre – you should ideally aim for 25-30 grams of fibre per day. The fibres in berries contribute to optimising your gut health, and the antioxidants can assist with reducing inflammation (which can worsen negative mental health symptoms.)
We want you to focus on what you can ADD into your diet, rather than taking away. Think about what you can add to your current dishes to boost the nourishment. For example:
- Add a can of lentils to your pasta dishes or a can of chickpeas to curries.
- Add a variety of nuts, seeds and berries to your cereal.
- Swap your steak for a piece of fish 1-2 times per week.