Which Foods Will Lift Your Mood?
If you find yourself feeling fatigued or experiencing low mood throughout the day, it might be because you’ve been skipping or eating unbalanced breakfasts, or waiting too long in between meals (this is why snacking is so important!).
Everyone’s different! Some people just aren’t big on breakfast or have low appetites in the morning. However, including a balanced breakfast supports stable blood sugar levels, provides sustained energy, and stabilises your mood. Often, skipping breakfast can leave you feeling crabby and tired while also heightening your cravings for salt and sugar-heavy foods.
Read on to find out the key elements to nailing a perfectly-balanced breakfast, as well as snacks, to provide you with long-lasting energy and positive feelings while preventing cravings.
Nailing the 4 Essential Breakfast Elements
Combining the 4 elements of protein, carbohydrate, fat and colours for your main meals such as breakfast is the perfect recipe to a balanced meal. The combination of these 4 elements provides:
- High quality fuel for the body and mind to function at its best
- Nutrients for recovery from exercise
- Consistent intake of all macronutrients across the day for stable blood sugar levels, therefore, supports mental clarity and energy levels
- Provides nutrients for immune health
Balanced breakfast examples:
Breakfast Burger: Eggs (protein) + wholegrain bun (carbohydrate) + avocado/extra virgin olive oil/mayonnaise (fat) + rocket/tomato/red onion (colour)
Mini Quiches: Egg/cheese (protein) + puff pastry (carbohydrate) + cream (fat) + spinach/mushrooms/onion/capsicum (colour)
Baked Beans on Toast: cannellini beans/cheese (protein) + grain bread (carbohydrates) + extra virgin olive oil (fat) + cherry tomatoes/parsley/spinach (colour)
Blueberry and Walnut Baked Oatmeal: yoghurt/milk/egg (protein) + oats (carbohydrate) + extra virgin olive oil (fat) + apple/blueberries (colour)
Nailing The Snack Elements
To create a balanced snack, aim to combine 2-3 out of the 4 elements: protein, carbohydrate, fat and colours. Snacks are usually considered smaller meals and are included to prevent you feeling ravenous and provide food to keep your mental and physical energy high. If you get to the point where you are extremely hungry, you tend to reach for snacks or meals that have little nutritional value and deter you from your health goals such as chocolate, cakes or chips.
Yoghurt Bowl: yoghurt (protein) + almonds (fat) + berries (colour)
Snack Platter: cheese (protein) + olives/almonds/walnuts (fats) + berries/tomatoes/cucumber (colour)
Post-Workout Smoothie: yoghurt/milk (protein) + banana/date (carbohydrate) + peanut butter (fat)
Peanut Butter Banana Wrap: peanut butter (fat) + banana/honey/wrap (carbohydrate)