Feeling fatigued, cranky or blue? Try these five foods suggested by Lifesum nutritionist Frida Harju to perk up your mood
Try some of these super berries to keep you smiling throughout the day. Already considered a superfood, blueberries have high levels of antioxidants which not only help to boost your mood, but also aid the nervous system, brain function, and combat memory less. Blueberries make a tasty addition to your breakfast bowl, or as a light and healthy snack to be eaten at any time of day.
Don’t forget your vegetables! A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry shows that people eating a diet rich in whole foods and fresh produce are less likely to report feeling depressed. Folate, a B vitamin found in beans, citrus and green vegetables like spinach and kale, has the ability to positively affect our mood. Recently, spinach has become a fashionable superfood so it is often included in restaurant menus, but the easiest way to consume it is to add raw leaves to a salad or eat wilted spinach with scrambled eggs for a tasty and nutritious breakfast.
Not only is dark chocolate a well-known aphrodisiac, it is also full of nutrients that cause the body to release happy hormones, known as endorphins. For a mood-boosting sweet treat, opt for dark chocolate that is over 70 percent cacao. All it takes is a couple of squares to give you that feel-good lift, so try not to hoover up the whole bar!
Eggs have serious mood-lifting powers. As well as being a good source of vitamin D, they also contain phenylalanine – a molecule used to make dopamine, which helps us feel enthusiastic and driven. So, rather than staying in bed until the last possible minute and grabbing a croissant on the go, try to wake up 15 minutes earlier and cook eggs for breakfast.
Essential fatty acids such as omega 3, found mainly in oily fish, help to improve your mood by increasing your levels of dopamine. Include at least one 140g serving of fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, or sardines a week in your diet and this should keep your brain happy and healthy. Try making mackerel on toast in the morning or taking a can of tuna into work to eat for lunch or, alternatively, take fish oil supplements such as cod liver oil every morning.