You’ve probably heard that expression, “you are what you eat” (or digest to be more precise), so it makes absolute sense that your mood follows the food that you eat!
In today’s time-poor, “must-have-it-now” society we are bombarded with conflicting food messages about what’s good for us; we are constantly being tricked by labels and enticing adverts as to what we should be eating. Not to mention all the hidden ingredients absent from labels or the artificial additives banned in other countries.
- Grab a muffin for breakfast-on-the-go or skip it completely?
- Have a sandwich for lunch?
- Reach for something sweet mid-arvo?
- Need coffee to keep you going? Or
- Do you get in too late from the gym to have a proper meal?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, the chances are that you’re not fuelling your brain with the right stuff.
So how does food affect your mood?
Whilst the average brain might only weigh 1.5kg, it uses a whopping 25% of our energy intake. Hence why it’s so important to make each morsel count.
Our food is essentially made up of proteins, fats, carbs, water, vitamins and minerals.
Not only can food be broken down to give you energy, but it also provides the building blocks for your brain chemicals, hormones and enzymes crucial to the optimal functioning of your brain.
So, here are my top 5 foods for mood:
– Wild seafood: great source of omega-3s to promote focus and memory and lessen depression.
– Avocado: full of good fats and folate to help keep you thinking clearly.
– Blueberries: packed full of antioxidants to protect your brain from oxidative stress.
– Sauerkraut: brimming with gut-friendly bacteria to keep your gut healthy so that it can communicate effectively with your brain.
– Green leafy veg: home to lots of micronutrients such as magnesium and folate which are needed to make both the happy and the calming brain chemicals.
Of course, there’s loads of other foods that may help keep your brain on track.
And when coupled with other lifestyle measures such as sound sleep, relaxation techniques, or exercise and/or talking to a health professional, food may make all the difference to your mood.