Have you ever been hangry? It’s true, food (or lack of) can totally affect our mood.
We’re not talking about sugary hits that improve your mood with a 5-minute energy boost before leaving you in a slump. We’re talking food groups that contain natural mood boosters.
Check out these foods for curing your hanger.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Everyone’s heard of Omega-3. It’s basically a group of essential fats that your body doesn’t make on its own, so you have to consume it.
These fatty acids may have a role in brain functioning and have actually been linked to lower levels of depression.
Salmon is the poster child for Omega-3, but you can also get your fix from walnuts, chia seeds, eggs, yoghurt and more.
This one’s a no-brainer.
Chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds and it stimulates the production of endorphins which are the chemicals in the brain that create feelings of pleasure.
It also has a high hedonic rating which is a system that determines how pleasurable something is. The way chocolate tastes, how it feels, smells and the whole experience of eating it is very pleasurable.
Simply put: chocolate is a good mood food.
Probiotics are great for digestive health and also boosting mood! These live microorganisms support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and may increase serotonin levels.
When you think of it, doesn’t having a healthy gut make you feeler better and happier too?
You can find probiotics in yoghurt and also fermented food. The fermentation process allows live bacteria to thrive in foods that are then able to convert sugars into alcohol and acids. It’s during this process that probiotics are created.
So foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables and kombucha can help both your gut and your mood.
Fruit and Veggies
How could colourful fruit and veggies not make you feel good?
They not only look bright and cheerful, fruit and vegetables are also key to maintaining a good diet. They contain a wealth of nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which are crucial for health and wellbeing.
It’s been proven that fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with a decreased risk of depression, so make sure your plate is colourful and bright, and you will be too!
There’s a good chance you already need a coffee in the morning to be in a good mood. Or at least to not be grouchy.
Coffee is the world’s most popular drink and there’s good reason. The caffeine increases alertness and attention which helps you feel upbeat.
Caffeine can have different effects on different people. So if it makes you jittery, irritable or gives you trouble sleeping, you should avoid drinking it.
Instead, opt for rooibos or chai tea to still get the comfort of a hot beverage.
Wholegrains and high fibre foods keep your blood sugar stable. But how does this help your mood?
It helps by regulating brain neurotransmitter secretions. This way you get a longer, sustained source of energy (unlike highly processed carbs or sweets).
Try eating quinoa, brown rice or steel-cut oatmeal for that sustained energy with no mood swings.