Many of you may already suffer with mood swings, anxiety or depression. Diet and lifestyle may be a contributory factor and small changes may help to boost your mood.
Here are a few suggestions which may help.
1) Eat Oily Fish
Oily fish includes salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and fresh tuna.
It contains omega 3 fatty acids which help to build brain and nerve cells, which may alleviate anxiety and depression and boost your mood, memory and concentration.
It is worth noting that, although fresh tuna contains omega 3 fatty acids, tinned tuna does not.
2) Eat Nuts
Nuts also contain omega 3, walnuts are especially good. Walnuts contain vitamin E, which helps prevent damage to brain and skin cells.
3) Eat Avocados
Many people won’t eat avocados, as they believe they are high in fat. However, it is a good fat that your body and brain will appreciate.
They also help to keep your energy levels constant by controlling your blood sugar.
4) Drink Herbal Tea
Peppermint and chamomile are particularly good for having a relaxing effect on your digestive system, which, in turn, will relieve stress from the rest of your body.
5) Eat Dark Chocolate
It’s always music to my ears when I hear that chocolate can be good for you.
Although it is not your common sugar-laden milk chocolate, dark chocolate is still good to eat. Maybe that goes some way to explaining why it makes you feel good. You know you’re eating chocolate and it’s good for you. Not sure I can think of a better way to boost your mood.
It does need to be at least 70% cocoa, but there are plenty to choose from.
6) Include More Spices
Spices that may lift your mood include turmeric and cinnamon.
Cinnamon’s distinctive smell can have a calming effect on the brain and help with memory. It’s great for helping to reduce the amount of sugar needed in some recipes.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. A compound found in it called curcumin may boost your mood and memory. Try it in rice, or a warming curry.
7) Eat Foods That Strengthen Your Immune System
Illness makes your body stressed and may also affect your mood. If you can try to avoid getting sick in the first place, then that would keep your body and mind in a more relaxed state.
Some foods good for your immune system include:
8) Eat Wholewheat Carbs
Refined white pasta, bread and rice contain more sugar than the wholewheat variety. This is not good for stabilising your blood sugar levels.
If you chew a piece of white bread until it turns to liquid in your mouth, you’ll notice it tastes sweet.
Our mood often suffers when we are tired. Wholewheat varieties digest slower so give you more sustained energy levels.
9) Avoid Refined Sugar
Refined sugar brings high sugar levels, which create spikes in your blood sugar, so you get an instant high followed by a low shortly after.
Sugar is addictive and if you try to stop eating it you may feel anxious. If you want to stop eating sugary food, then you need to make sure you have plenty of distractions in place to take your mind away from the withdrawal symptoms.
The more nutrients you feed your body, the less you will experience cravings for the bad stuff.
10) Avoid Stimulants
Stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol may trigger anxious episodes in those prone to anxiety. I know that if I have any alcohol my mood is lower the next day.
Caffeine may also cause an increased heart rate, tension, irritability and insomnia.
Don’t let the fact that stimulants initially calm you down make you think they are beneficial to any anxiety or depression. A lovely cuppa may not be greatly beneficial to your wellbeing.
11) Increase Antioxidants
These protect the brain from free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body.
Foods that contain selenium, beta-carotene, vitamin c and vitamin e have antioxidants. These include:
- Sweet potatoes
12) Eat B Vitamins Daily
These vitamins help keep the brain cells healthy. They are water soluble vitamins, which means they are not stored in the body for long, so need to be eaten every day. Foods containing B vitamins include:
13) Keep a Food Diary
Tracking what you eat and writing emotions alongside it may help pinpoint foods that are triggers for your mood swings.
14) Avoid High Fat Foods
These may affect dopamine levels. People with depression tend to have lower levels of dopamine. Dopamine helps to transmit messages in the brain.
A high fat diet may change the gene expression within the brain, this has a detrimental effect on dopamine levels.
To help get the right levels of dopamine then try introducing these foods into your diet:
- Wholewheat bread
- Brown rice
- Pumpkin seeds
15) Don’t Buy Unhealthy Food for Others
Buying unhealthy food for a spouse or children in the household is a slippery slope. Nobody likes to feel left out. If they are eating it, you will too. Encourage them to support you in your healthy eating quest.
16) Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep may lead to food cravings. Being tired stops you putting in the effort to eat healthily and you’ll just grab something quick, easy and usually unhealthy.
17) Hydrate Yourself
Drinking water will nourish the body and make you feel less hungry. Sometimes when we feel hungry, we are thirsty.
Be aware of what you eat and how it affects you. Create new healthy habits and have a good relationship with healthy food. Associate eating healthily with good times. Remove unhealthy food from your home. Your home is your sanctuary. You need to feel it will provide you with relaxation and happiness in every aspect of your life.