Want to stay happy in Dry January? EAT!
How is your Blue Monday? Me, not so good. But with Dry January and Slimming World recipes, lots of walking and an abundance of positive thinking, I am making progress.
With New Year diets as popular as always, I wonder why we punish ourselves, just to fit into skinny jeans. In my experience, I eat more on a ‘diet’ than my usual routine of eating out and sleeping badly. And certain foods are ideal to boost mood.
Nutritionist Anita Bean said: “We all have times when we feel down in the dumps, but lifestyle factors such as eating a healthy diet containing lots of fruit and vegetables, being active, getting outside in the fresh air as much as possible and spending time with loved ones can really help to lift our moods.”
Try the following:
Cherries – cherries help your brain to produce the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin. They are also a rich food source of the hormone melatonin which promotes healthy sleep patterns.
Nuts – studies show that eating a handful of nuts a day can increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happier and decreases feelings of hunger.
Dark chocolate – contains high levels of phenols, which cause the brain to release endorphins and boost mood, but its high in calories so keep portions small!
Bananas – high in tryptophan and vitamin B6, essential for making serotonin whilst also containing carbohydrates, which trigger the production of insulin and raise serotonin levels in the brain.
Oily fish (e.g. salmon, sardines and mackerel), walnuts and chia seeds – contain high levels of omega-3s, low levels of which are linked with depression. Omega-3s are important for the proper function of the brain and can also have a positive impact on mood.
Pumpkin seeds – one of the best sources of tryptophan, which is the building block for serotonin (our happy hormone).
Oats – with a low glycaemic index they are a great source of slow release energy; this will prevent blood sugar spikes and in turn stop you getting tired and moody.
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