Maybe the weather isn’t what you’d hoped for, your day takes a turn for the worse with an unpleasant email, or perhaps your plans for a catch up with friends falls through. Sometimes your mood can take a beating – we get it! But regardless of what’s making you feel less than inspired, there’s a simple trick to help you pull yourself out of that temporary slump: indulging in one of these healthy, nutritious, mood-boosting foods!
- Dark chocolate
Birthday celebrations, decadent desserts out, special occasions like Christmas and Easter… practically all of the images that spring to mind with the thought of chocolate are mood boosters in themselves! But on top of dredging up delicious memories, chocolate can also offer you a way to lift your mood on a chemical level. Those who eat chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) have been found to have lower levels of stress hormones and anxiety. But it’s not just helpful in the long term, with a couple of squares of dark chocolate actually able to increase the levels of serotonin in your brain, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good, boosting your mood in as little as a few minutes. It’s important however not to overdo it, as too much refined sugar can lead to an energy crash later on in the day, leaving you back down in the dumps.
Yellow is the colour most commonly associated with happiness and optimism. And while they are the colour of sunshine, this isn’t the only reason bananas are able to boost your mood almost instantly. These conveniently packaged, vitamin rich fruits also contains the essential amino acid Tryptophan, which our bodies are unable to produce on their own. This amino acid plays a big role in the production of a range of other feel-good chemicals including melatonin (which we need to regulate our waking and sleep cycles), and serotonin, which is crucial to regulating our moods. So not only are they delicious and readily available, bananas are also the ideal mood booster to keep in your purse or gym bag ready to pull you out of that 3 o’clock slump.
Yes, yes – it’s not technically a food! But H20 packs a massive mood boosting punch. Headaches, dry skin, tiredness; is there anything water isn’t a cure for? It doesn’t seem like it, and make sure to add bad moods to the list! While water is crucial to practically every aspect of how our bodies function, it can also play a big role in how we’re feeling emotionally. When we are dehydrated we can feel anything from sleepiness, to severe irritation and a loss of ability to concentrate. Whether it be in a cup of tea, a sparkling mineral water or a hot water with lemon or mint, water is one of the most easily accessible and versatile options on the mood boosting foods list, and can almost instantly remedy many of the causes of a sadder-than-average mood.
Starting out the day in a good mood can do wonders for how you interact with those around you and how you approach your work, workouts and day to day tasks. It makes sense then that starting the day with a mood booster is the way to go. Porridge, containing oats, is the ideal way to do this. Oats are rich in selenium, an antioxidant micronutrient which helps your thyroid function, regulating your mood and behaviour. And better yet, you can jazz up this breakfast with fruit, nuts or a little bit of honey to inspire your taste buds as well as your mood.
While it’s good to approach a bad mood with a range of remedies; from exercise to talking it out with a friend, choosing the right snack can help to boost your energy levels, trigger those feel-good hormones and dramatically improve your mood, leaving you ready to tackle the rest of the day.