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    Eat Well to stay Happy this January

    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).

    January Mood Boosting

    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.

    Cherries

    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.

     

    Cherries in bowl on wooden table

    Nuts

    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!

     

    Almond nuts in a bowl

    36 per cent say that their mood is worse at the start of the year compared to any other time

    Dark Chocolate

    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!

     

    Dark Chocolate squares

    Bananas

    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!

     

    Bananas make you happy

    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.

     

    cooked salmon on a plate

    Pumpkin seeds

    Not just for October, Pumpkin is one of the best sources of tryptophan, which is the building block for serotonin (our happy hormone).

     

    pumpkin seeds in a bowl

    Oats

    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.

     

    Porridge with strawberries

     

    Check out more ways to keep a healthy mind and body this year, here.