18 Jan Five fabulous foods to improve your mood
We can all feel a bit glum and sluggish in the winter-time, but in January in particular, this can tip over into feelings of depression or despondency for some of us. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your mood: from getting more fresh air to learning how to meditate, but one of the simplest changes you can make is to change what you put into your body, whether this is mood-boosting foods or herbal remedies for stress.
If your state of mind is affecting your everyday life – for example, if you’re struggling to get out of bed or you find yourself avoiding meeting or talking to friends or family – it is vital to seek the advice of your GP.
However, for many of us, dark days leave us just feeling a bit low and fed-up. If this sounds like you, then the New Year is a great time to start taking steps to shake off winter blues and get set for a healthier, happier springtime!
Here are a few of our favourite recipes that are healthy and delicious, and contain mood-boosting nutrients and vitamins to help put a spring back in your step!
Add colour to improve your mood
Long before food reaches your mouth, we begin to enjoy a meal with our eyes. Sitting down in front of a good-looking plate of food with someone you love is one of the best ways to improve your mood.
One of our favourite colourful dishes is this White Bean and Veggie Salad from Eating Well, which includes tomatoes to give a fresh splash of red. Why not use the recipe as an inspiration and mix it up with your own favourite fresh vegetables and salads?
Cut the carbs
It is SO tempting to reach for carb-heavy comfort food when you are feeling a bit down. But the glycaemic ‘slump’ that you get when your blood sugar levels crash an hour or two after eating that doorstep sandwich or sausage and mash don’t help your mood at all.
Cutting down on carbs doesn’t have to mean giving up your favourite comfort food. Here’s our favourite recipe for happy, healthy Zucchini Pizza Boats with Goats Cheese from Diet Doctor. It’s quick, easy and delicious and goes perfectly with a winter salad for extra zing
With beetroot, pomegranate and figs, all doused in a red wine vinaigrette, this salad is as beautiful to look at as it is to eat! Figs are rich in antioxidant vitamins A and K, helping to clear your mind. They also contain magnesium which is believed to help boost your mood by supporting biological processes associated with mood regulation.
Love your legumes
Broccoli isn’t usually the top of anyone’s list for comfort food, but once you’ve tried this tasty salad with almonds and whole roasted garlic, you might just change your mind. Broccoli and all green leafy legumes contain folate, a substance that has been used to help improve mood and relieve depression.
Everyone knows that chocolate cheers you up, but if you stick to dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or above, it actually stimulates the production of endorphins – your brain’s pleasure chemicals which help to lift low mood.
Chocolate also contains serotonin, the chemical produced naturally in the body that makes you feel happy. These tasty dark chocolate bars are the ultimate treat, but you can enjoy them guilt-free knowing that you are helping to address your low mood!
Herbal remedies for stress
Another popular way to help improve your mood naturally from within is to take St John’s Wort – one of the most popular traditional herbal remedies for stress, mild anxiety and mild depression.
HRI Good Mood™ St John’s Wort provides the strongest daily dose of available on the UK market in just two tablets. It is made with extract from plants that are harvested by hand from the wild in Chile in July and August, in accordance with the Good Agricultural and Collection Practice (GACP) guidelines, then dried in the sun.
HRI Good Mood is licensed under the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) scheme herbal medicine (Licence Number THR 02231/0002) and is safe to take at the recommended dose providing the listed contraindications do not apply to you. Always read the patient information leaflet to check for possible contraindications with any medication you are already taking.
Please note: St John’s Wort is not recommended if you are taking the contraceptive pill or HRT.