Five Yummy Foods that Will Put You in an Amazing Mood


While diet wellness means that you maintain a healthy weight and look after your physical health, certain foods can also have a positive effect on your emotional wellbeing. According to nutritionist Janella Purcell, author of Eating For The Seasons, ‘Many people are depressed and anxious, and why are they? A lot of it comes down to food. But if you get people eating the right food, they start to feel good.’ In order to achieve a balanced body and mind, you need foods that can boost your brain’s levels or serotonin. The best news is that most of the foods that make you happy aren’t as dull as you think – chocolate is on this list, people! So, let’s ask the diet and nutrition experts for their favourite good mood foods.


1. Chocolate: Diet expert Elizabeth Meryment details, ‘Chocolate can actually improve not just your mood but, for some, alleviate symptoms of depression. A 2007 Australian study found that 61% of depressed people felt better after a small piece of dark chocolate. But be warned: the chocolate cure only works for some personality types. For comfort eaters, gorging on chocolate can have negative impacts.’


2. Fruit: French paediatrician and nutritionist Caroline Longmore, author of ebook The Serotonin Secret, recommends that you eat between four and 11 bananas a week for optimal happiness. Meryment explains, ‘Potassium-rich bananas are high in amino acids, which trigger the body to produce tryptophan. Tryptophan is essential because it stimulates the “feel-good” hormone, serotonin.’ Accredited practising dietician Caitlin Reid, author of the health website Health & The City, adds that you should choose fruits that are high in folate and B vitamins, such as pineapple, blueberries and avocado, are all also high in B vitamins and folate. ‘Any foods that are high in B vitamins and folate are really important for [stimulating] an amino acid [to cause our bodies to produce] the feel-good hormone serotonin,’ she says. ‘What they do is give our hormones a boost.’


3. Seafood: ‘Oily fish really are a superfood,’ Reid enthuses. ‘They are full of omega-3s, which lower inflammation and help in rebuilding the brain and creating serotonin. Omega-3s actually make up a big part of the brain and if you eat more of them, you are less likely to be depressed.’ As well as recommending oily deep-sea fish such as tuna and salmon, Reid also suggests loading up on crustaceans such as prawns and lobster. She notes that this kind of seafood contains B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc, which ‘help those processes in the brain to make you feel good.’


4. Low-Fat Dairy: Meryment points out, ‘Dairy foods are an excellent source of protein, D and B vitamins, and minerals including magnesium and zinc, all of which contribute to the creation of serotonin in the brain. Cottage cheese is particularly high in amino acids, which generates tryptophan to make serotonin.’


5. Legumes: ‘Everybody should eat legumes all the time,’ Purcell urges. ‘They’re full of protein, have no fat and clean your intestines…People eat foods that are [readily] available, which is a lot of refined sugars and wheat, like cakes, pies and sweets. You get a high off that, but then you get a crash. Because legumes help to slow down the body’s absorption of carbohydrates, they also ward off hunger pangs and the resultant mood swings that come from not eating right.’ So to maintain your stable blood-sugar levels – which is essential for maintaining an even temper – load up on legumes such as chickpeas, cannelloni, kidney and bertolli beans.


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