Hi, it’s Sara! Hope you’re enjoying this delicious sunshine. In clinic I’m hearing every day how much better people feel for it. Read on to find out how you can use food to improve your mood and feel balanced and calm when we can’t feel the sun on our skin.
The very edited highlight of the research into what you should eat to balance your energy and improve your mood is to follow a Mediterranean-style diet featuring plenty of whole, natural foods.
That also means learning to balance your blood sugar levels. Loss of blood sugar balance has a clear link to stress, anxiety and depression. 50% of low mood is down to blood sugar imbalances.
Learning how to become a master of your blood sugar balance is the secret to having more energy, a better mood and controlling your weight – and losing it if you need to. Feeling more confident about the way you look is in itself an excellent way to boost feelings of self-worth.
In the same way that eating well can positively influence mood, making poor food choices can have the opposite effect. Research by a team at Binghamton, New York, showed that young adults under 30 who ate fast food more than three times a week scored higher when it came to levels of mental distress. The same researchers found that those who ate meat fewer than three times a week had more mental health problems (potentially as the amino acid tryptophan found in meat is the pre-cursor to the feel-good chemical serotonin).
Eat 3 meals a day with a mid morning snack and a mid afternoon snack.
Eating low GL (glycaemic load) carbohydrates that keep your blood sugar level even and minimises mood-altering blood sugar dips.
Sufficient protein, giving you an optimum supply of essential amino acids. Have some form of protein with every meal and snack.
Eat whole, unadulterated food, high in soluble fibre (beans, lentils, oats).
High mood-boosting Vitamin B foods like nuts, seeds, beans and green leafy vegetables (which also include essential zinc and magnesium) are good for mental stability.
Foods containing high amounts of essential omega-3 fats as well as vitamin D.
Include a serving of each of the following foods in your diet every day: fish (especially oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, kippers, sardines, tuna). Or free-range eggs or free-range chicken, or turkey.
Nuts, seeds and beans, especially flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and all beans. All berries, cherries, plums, apples and pears, green vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, peas, artichoke, kale, cabbage, watercress, rocket
Avoid sugar in its many disguises and limit foods that contain carbohydrates that break down into sugar fast – bread, rice, pasta, pastries, cakes and cookies.
Avoid foods high in saturated, hydrogenated, processed fats or damaged fats, such as sausages, fried foods and junk food.
Reduce wheat and milk, common contributors to food intolerances and altered moods. Testing available - please email me.
Limit or avoid caffeinated drinks (1 coffee or 2 weak teas a day).
Limit or avoid alcohol (no more than 3 small glasses of wine, half-pints of beer or measures of spirit a week – and not all on the same night).
Want to know how to make this way of eating work for you? Email me by clicking HERE!
If you would like to join like-minded people in my free Facebook group Intelligent Living, all about living & eating well, staying healthy and sane in a busy world 😊 please click HERE.