Eat Well to stay Happy this January
New research released by Opinium shows that a third of Brits (34 per cent) find it difficult to stay positive in January and 36 per cent say that their mood is worse at the start of the year compared to any other time. That’s without the knock-on mental health effects of COVID-19.
Similarly and unsurprisingly, the most common word associated with January was ‘grey’ (41 per cent) followed by ‘gloomy’ (39 per cent).
Considering mood-boosting activities in January, the most commonly cited thing people typically do is exercise (21 per cent), eat healthily (19 per cent) and book a holiday for later in the year (17 per cent, in fact. Fingers crossed they’ll be happening!).
However, only 7 per cent of Brits say they have eaten mood-boosting foods to help their January blues, and only 4 per cent have undertaken mindfulness to help them through the January slump.
With that in mind, Nutritionist, Anna Bean, tells us what we can eat to help boost our mood in what is, no doubt, the most depressing January on record.
They are juicy and delicious! But cherries also help your brain to produce the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin. They are also a rich food source of the hormone melatonin which promotes healthy sleep patterns.
Studies show that eating a handful of nuts a day can increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happier and decreases feelings of hunger. Nuts are a staple in Joe Wicks’ diet, we see. Do sugared almonds count? We hope so!
36 per cent say that their mood is worse at the start of the year compared to any other time
Contains high levels of phenols, which cause the brain to release endorphins and boost mood, but it’s high in calories so keep portions small!
High in tryptophan and vitamin B6, essential for making serotonin whilst also containing carbohydrates, which trigger the production of insulin and raise serotonin levels in the brain. More bananas, please!
Oily fish, walnuts and chia seeds
Did you know these all contain high levels of omega-3s? Low levels of which are linked with depression. Omega-3s are important for the proper function of the brain and can also have a positive impact on mood.
Not just for October, Pumpkin is one of the best sources of tryptophan, which is the building block for serotonin (our happy hormone).
The perfect breakfast stable, with a low glycaemic index, oats are a great source of slow-release energy; this will prevent blood sugar spikes and in turn stop you getting tired and moody.
Check out more ways to keep a healthy mind and body this year, here.
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