Did you know that the food you eat can really affect your brain chemistry and influence your moods? Include these feel-good foods in your diet on a daily basis and you will reap the benefits.Treat yourself to Dark chocolate/Cacao – Nibbling on chocolate with a high cocoa content of at least 70 percent, or adding raw cacao nibs to your diet (you can just snack on a small handful, or try adding it to your muesli in the morning) is a treat which you need not feel guilty about. Dark chocolate, as well as being a delight for the taste buds, is a source of magnesium and antioxidants, and boosts serotonin and endorphins in the body which promote a sense of wellbeing.
Include Bananas, cottage cheese, turkey in your diet – These are all Tryptophan containing foods. Tryptophan is converted in the body to serotonin which is a relaxing, feel-good neurotransmitter. Serotonin is commonly lacking in those who suffer from a low mood or anxiety, and promotes a balanced mood and sleep.
Eat your greens – Green foods should be included in our diets in abundance everyday because of the health benefits they offer. As well as being a nutritional powerhouse, greens are a wonderful source of magnesium, a mood boosting and relaxing mineral which is a tonic for the nervous system. Magnesium is a mineral which is often lacking in our diets, due to our preference for refined foods and a lack of consumption of magnesium rich whole grains and green foods. Consequently, magnesium deficiency is very common. This is exacerbated by the fact that stress and tension uses up our magnesium stores and depletes levels in the body. Magnesium deficiency can result in anxiety, tense muscles, muscle cramps and twitches.
Munch on Walnuts – Walnuts are omega 3 rich, containing oils which nourish the brain and contribute to a healthy and stable mood. Those suffering from depression and anxiety are often found to be lacking adequate Omega 3 in their diets.
Consume plenty of Good quality protein –such as nuts, seeds, fish, lentils, quinoa, organic chicken, eggs or protein powder. Protein helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and so prevents the peaks and troughs which accompany blood sugar fluctuations, which affect mood and energy levels, leaving you exhausted and irritable. Protein consumption helps to keep energy levels and mood stable, and encourages the production of neurotransmitters in the brain which are essential for an agreeable mood.
Make your porridge with Oats – considered to be a tonic for the nervous system, as well as being high in B Vitamins which contribute to a healthy nervous system, and as a bonus they are high in silica for producing healthy and strong hair, skin and nails.
Include these foods regularly in your diet, and eat your way to health and happiness!