Mood Food

Wendnesday, 20 Apr 16

It’s common knowledge that what we put in our mouths affects how our body functions, however what is less known is the powerful relationship between diet and our mood. Components of foods and particular nutrients trigger changes to our hormones, metabolism and brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that affect our energy, sleep, behaviours and emotions – both for better and for worse.

So make sure your diet contains these foods for GREAT mood:

  • Tryptophan - This amino acid, the building block to protein found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy foods is used to make our ‘happy hormone,’ serotonin. When serotonin levels are low, we’re more prone to depression and anxiety. 
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA) - Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout – tinned, fresh, smoked is rich in this precious and essential omega-3 fats in these fish are saturated within the cells throughout our central nervous system and they must be replenished regularly to keep up our mood
  • Selenium – found in high doses in brazil nuts, low selenium intake has been associated with poorer mood 
  • B vitamins – in particular folate and vitamins B6 and B12 are essential to regulating brain function, which affects our mood. Sources include meat and fish, legumes and green vegetables. 
  • Carbohydrates – our body also needs carbohydrates to produce serotonin and diets too low in carbohydrates are more likely to make you feel tired, angry and depressed
  • Iron – iron found in red meat and green leafy vegetables is responsible for carrying oxygen around the blood so low levels can cause fatigue and depression 
  • Magnesium – found in nuts and leafy greens, magnesium is also used in developing serotonin and a deficiency can predisposed us to stress and irritability

Particular foods can also lower our mood by causing an inflammatory response, creating a nutrient deficiency and crash our blood sugar levels such as processed refined sugars and fats, caffeine and alcohol.

Next: Iron Deficiency: The most common nutritional disorder in the world

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