Eating to help your mood

8 Nov 2014

One minute you are all happy and fine, then all of a sudden everything can change and you come crashing down and feel terrible. All you need is a sympathetic ear and some good wholesome food to help you get through it. Proteins rich in amino acids can help to ensure that your endorphin levels (the happy hormone) are boosted and stay high, such as eggs and oily fish.

Your mood can be affected by a diet high in sugar and high GI snacks such as cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks. As much as we love a good bar of chocolate or cake when we feel down this can and will actually have the opposite effect long term. It will then also lead to you putting on some extra unwanted weight. When you eat a high sugar snack your body has an insulin spike, which makes you feel great for a short time but then once that burns off you come crashing back down to earth feeling worse than before and craving even more sugar. If you are looking for a sugar fix try stocking up on dried fruit and nuts, and make sure your fruit bowl is always full of fresh fruit. These will be much healthier options than a bar of chocolate, but as with everything containing sugar, natural or added eat in moderation.

The other go to for a lot of people when they are feeling down is alcohol. Most people find this out each weekend when they are crying at the end of the night telling their friends they love them, but alcohol is a depressant and unfortunately reaching for a drink won’t always have the effect you’re after. While a glass of wine after a hard day might help you relax, in the long run it can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with. This is because regular, heavy drinking interferes with neurotransmitters in our brains that are needed for good mental health.

I know I’m taking away all of your favourites so far but it’s not all bad. Dark Chocolate can  stimulate neural activity in the regions of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, according to recent research dark chocolate benefits come from antioxidants called flavonoids, but you need to be sure your chocolate is 75% cocoa and not just a family bar from the local corner shop.

So if you’re feeling alittle blue start your day with a good protein filled breakfast of eggs and salmon and later on have a small piece of good quality 75% cocoa chocolate, maybe melted with some nice fresh strawberries to help you relax and cheer up!

 

 

 

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