What are the Best Mood Lifting Foods?
One of the easiest ways to support and maintain mental health is through good nutrition. What we put into our bodies is vital for good cognitive functioning. Making dietary changes can help to improve mood, help you think more clearly, and balance your blood sugar-crashes of which can lead to you feeling irritated, tired, and down.
Certain foods have been shown to improve overall brain health and act as natural mood boosters. Diets that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and omega-3 rich foods are likely to be of benefit for supporting mood. Especially if they are eaten at the expense of heavily processed and packaged foods. Studies suggest a correlation between intake of fruit and vegetables and risk of depression (1).
There are a number of excellent mood boosters to add to your daily diet:
- Omega-3 rich foods: Foods like oily fish have been shown to have a role in brain functioning, with deficiencies of these essential fats linked to mental health problems.
- Cacao: A great food for mood boosting, rich in compounds including caffeine, theobromine, and N- acylethanolamine which have an uplifting effect. Try our Cacao Magic blend for a mood boost.
- Matcha: Rich in amino acids like L-theanine which help to clear the mind and support focus and alertness, while reducing stress and anxiety
- Collagen: Collagen is rich in amino acids, which make up the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings. Rich in glycine which increases your serotonin levels that help to regulate mood.
Quick Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Set You up for Success
One of the best ways to set ourselves up for a successful day, both mentally and physically, starts with a healthy breakfast routine. If you do choose to start your day with breakfast then there are several natural mood boosters to include which will help to support your wellbeing:
- Eggs make a simple, nutritious breakfast choice. Try them with avocado which is rich in antioxidants and folate which help to ward off depression.
- Berries are delicious and packed with antioxidants. Rich in anthocyanins which are associated with better brain health.
- Smoked salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which we have already mentioned have many positive effects for brain health. The DHA content may also influence serotonin, which is vital for modulating mood.
Some quick healthy breakfast ideas include an omelette, or smoothie to cram in as much goodness as possible, or grab a bowl of keto porridge or a bulletproof coffee. Get our Keto Coffee kick-start your day with a boost of pure energy!
It is really important to focus on starting your day with options that stabilise your blood sugar- fibre, healthy fats, and high protein should all be a key part of any breakfast meal. Blood sugar crashes have been linked to negative moods, so it’s key to avoid this to level out your emotional state.
Your breakfast of choice can impact your mood and productivity levels, so eating a well-balanced breakfast can set you up for a good day ahead. Try to avoid foods like highly processed, and high sugar foods which can make you irritable, less productive, and impact your mood.
Power up with These Low-Carb Lunch Ideas That Will Lighten Your Mood
A balanced diet that delivers all the nutrients your body needs to function at its optimum level is essential when dealing with stressful situations. It’s best to avoid stimulants like caffeine and sugar to keep your blood sugar levels and mood stable.
It’s important to note that how you eat can be a source of stress or a stress reliever. Mindful eating where you focus on each bite of food and being present in the moment can help with satiation, digestion, and stress relief. Try some short breathing exercises, or go for a short walk to relieve stress before you settle down to eat your lunch.
There are some great foods to add to your diet to combat stress including:
- Nuts: Nuts like almonds are great stress relievers, rich in B-vitamins and magnesium which help to produce serotonin, regulating mood and relieving stress.
- Fish: Rich in B-vitamins, and Omega-3 which can counteract the negative effects of stress hormones, regulating serotonin and dopamine and resulting in an overall calm state. Why not try a baked salmon with veggies, or tuna salad for a healthy lunch option.
- Eggs: One of the few natural sources of Vitamin D which is vital for mood-regulation. Also contain choline which can help to manage stress levels and reduce anxiety. Try a veg packed omelette or frittata for a healthy lunch.
- Green Tea: Studies have found mental stress to be significantly lower in those who drank multiple cups of green tea. Green Tea and matcha in particular is rich in stress-relieving amino acid L-theanine. Why not try our Matcha Collagen alongside your lunch option.
Dinner Pairings To Wrap Things Up
In the evening we want to focus on foods that help us to wind down, and support deep, restful sleep, and help us to feel and function at our best the next day. Melatonin rich foods like tart cherry juice are well known sleep aids. Eggs, fish, and nuts are other foods high in melatonin.
Tryptophan rich foods can also be beneficial to consume later in the day, as this is converted into serotonin and then melatonin so can help to support relaxation, calm, and sleep. Turkey, chicken, seafood, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are great choices to include in your dinner meal.
It’s best to limit caffeine intake in the afternoon or evening to avoid its stimulating effects. It’s also a good idea to finish your meal a few hours before bed, and practice good sleep hygiene which is critical for good restful sleep, repair and recovery, and mood.
The following make great dinner options:
It’s important to balance your diet throughout the day, and regularly include some of the mood lifting foods and options we have mentioned above to support physical and mental wellbeing.