There is undoubtedly a link between nutrition and mood. Eating the right kinds of food can have a remarkable impact on our emotional wellbeing. We talked to nutritionist, chef and all round food expert Zoe Bingley-Pullen for her recommended mood boosting foods.
- eggs, lean meat, chicken, fish, legumes, nuts/seeds, dairy, tofu and tempeh
Why? Protein provides essential amino acids, which play a critical role in production of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters act as chemical messengers within the brain and are responsible for mood.
- avocado, fatty fish, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, linseeds, chia seeds
Why? The brain is approximately 60% fat, as you can only imagine, fats are critical for the proper functioning of chemical messengers in our brain, controlling mood and emotions. Essential fatty acids including omega-3 are particularly important to include in the diet, as the body cannot make its own supply. Research has linked low intake of essential fats with increased risk of low mood. This provides a very good reason to put fat on your plate!
Probiotic rich foods
- natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, kefir and kimchi
Why? Our gut and brain are linked as they share many of the same nerve endings, hormones and neurotransmitters. There is more and more research looking at the connection between gut health and mood. Take care of gut health by including a wide range of probiotic rich foods in the diet.
Prebiotic rich foods
- leeks, onions, garlic, psyllium, asparagus and oats.
Why? Prebiotics are carbohydrate-containing foods known to resist digestion in the small intestine and therefore are a fuel for gut flora in the colon. This means, prebiotic are necessary to help feed the good bugs in our digestive system. As we know, a healthy balance of gut flora is important for a healthy mood.
Turmeric contains the active compound curcumin. Curcumin has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the body and preliminary research is showing its protective effects on mental health. Use turmeric in marinades, salad dressings, sprinkled on roasted vegetables, in the base of curries or added to smoothies/juice.
To reduce the temptation to munch on some ‘comfort food’ to lift your mood, consider adding some of these to your diet for a long term lift!
Zoe Bingley- Pullin is a celebrity chef and nutritionist who is also one of the experts on Channel 7’s new House of Wellness. She is also the author of several successful cookbooks.
If you want to learn how to make permanent changes to health and develop a healthy relationship with food, the next round of Zoe’s 8-week online Falling in Love with Food Program starts 16th October 2017. Each week members receive a 7-day meal plan, group coaching call with Zoe, 4 recipes and cooking videos, motivational interviews and access to an online community to support your journey.
Offer: Are you ready to Fall in Love with Food? Zoe is offering her 8-week program for $99 and members also receive 1 month free access to the Tribe Program. This access starts when the 8-week Program ends and signs you up for an ongoing monthly subscription to the Tribe. To read more visit here: http://www.fallinginlovewithfood.com/plan/