Bad Mood BustersPosted April 21 2016
Hello you. Having a grouchy morning? Getting sleepy and irritable in the afternoons, wondering if the clock is going backwards? Generally feeling down in the dumps and reaching for the tub of ice-cream?
Well, comfort eating might actually be the answer, so long as you know the foods to go for. Broadly speaking, our “happy juice” is a brain hormone called Serotonin. This is the stuff that keeps us calm, focused and relaxed. When our brains aren’t producing enough of it, then our moods take a downward swing, and we become more prone to stress, anxiety and depression. And you don’t need medication to fix it; there are lots of happy foods that help get the serotonin pumping and stave off stress hormones, boosting you back to your normal, cheerful self.
So the Organic Blog is here with some of these great mood-boosting foods to put the pep back in your step and turn that frown upside-down!
Many a Mum has probably told you that fish is brain food, and they’d be right about that (jury’s still out on whether bread crusts make your hair curly though). Salmon, tuna and other seafood like oysters contain heaps of Omega 3, which our bodies don’t naturally produce but does wonders in balancing out our serotonin and dopamine levels when we’re feeling a little off, and also improves focus – so try a salmon sandwich next time you’re struggling with your revision.
You might have heard enough about this little wonder-food already, but it really is a little bomb of happy-juice to your system. Avocadoes contain folate, tryptophan and vitamin B6 – a triple combo of depression dampener, serotonin booster and stress reliever, respectively. Plus they’re scrummy on just about anything. Like…seriously. Get it on your toast, thank me later.
Oats and Bananas
I mention these two together because…they’re just meant to be together. The prom king and queen of the breakfast ball. Both contain tryptophan, so that’s your serotonin going again, and bananas are a great snack for kicking down hunger levels and relieving stress. And the high fibre content of oats means your tum will be full that little bit longer, meaning you’ll snack less. Put them in a bowl, blend them up in a smoothie, whatever, just start your day right with these two.
As if Popeye wasn’t already the best spokesperson for this green giant of nutrition. And whilst I can’t promise clanging bells and rubber muscles, spinach will give you a good dose of iron, which helps fight fatigue and aid concentration. Add yet more vitamin B6 and folate and you’ll be singing like a sailor in no time.
Oh yes. It’s official. It’s been chemically proven that chocolate (dark chocolate anyway) can make you happy. When eaten in moderation, the antioxidants in dark chocolate help ward off a stress hormone called cortisol. Also look up our past blog on the benefits of raw cacao if you want to enjoy this one without the guilt and calories that usually comes with it.
Yes, you’re probably sick to death of hearing it: coconut does everything. So it’s probably no surprise it’s also a mood booster. But did you know just the smell of it helps improve mood? That’s right, coconut fragrance has been shown to help dim your brain’s fight-or-flight impulses and lessen blood pressure and anxiety (although please do eat the stuff too – supermarket staff get a bit weird about you sniffing coconuts in the produce aisle).
And these are just the start! Chicken, lentils, brazil nuts, eggs and carbs can also help pick you up and zap you back into focus. And with that lineup, why not get creative? Salmon and spinach omelette? Banana and coconut smoothie? Chicken and avocado sandwich? The list goes on. Comfort eating doesn’t have to be boring or unhealthy.
So if you’re feeling pessimistic, put down the Prozac and prescribe your palate some perky pick-me-ups today!