How various foods can put you in the mood you choose have been revealed in a book entitled: The Happy Kitchen, Good Food Mood by Rachel Kelly and Alice Mackintosh.
Published by Short Books, the book talks on foods you should eat for every mood, including sweet potato for anxiety, cherries for deep sleep and mushrooms for happiness.
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According to the authors, there’s a food to eat for every single mood.
From egg yolks for concentration to sweet potato to relieve anxiety, the nutritionists have shared the ultimate guide to boosting every mood with the right meal.
Mackerel for a good mood
Oily fish such as mackerel is fantastic for the brain because it is rich in all-important omega 3 fatty acids. These are vital for the brain (which is made up of 60 per cent fats) to help keep it communicating properly, as well as supporting the production of our neurotransmitters which govern everything from emotion, memory and concentration.
These fats also help to reduce inflammation, which some research is showing may be present to a greater extent in some people with depression.
Mackerel is great because it also contains less mercury than other oily fish such as salmon and tuna, which may benefit the brain further.
Many people choose to discard egg yolks with the worry that they contain too much fat, but actually they are a rich source of goodness for the brain. In particular, they contain choline, which helps to form a protective sheath over some of our nerves, helping the brain to communicate more quickly.
It also helps to form our concentration and memory neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. You shouldn’t overcook the egg yolk, and try have it runny instead!
I tell my clients to keep the egg yolk runny if possible, such as in our ‘Alice’s Creamy Scrambled Eggs’ recipe, where we add the egg yolk last, which also makes it deliciously creamy!
Sweet potato to relieve anxiety
We love sweet potatoes, not only because they taste great and are good for skin, but also because they deliver calming nutrients magnesium and B6.
These are great if you feel stressed, tense or anxious. B6 in particular is needed to make gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) a calming neurotransmitter that can often be deficient in those suffering with anxiety.
Mushrooms for a sunny outlook
Many of us feel better when we are exposed to sunlight, and this is because it helps us to produce vitamin D which seems to be important for supporting mood, as well as helping to harmonise hormones and boost immunity.
Though nothing replaces the sun, mushrooms, especially shiitake and oyster varieties, do contain some vitamin D so try to use them in food, especially in the winter months.
Amazingly, like us, mushrooms contain more if they have been exposed to UV light, so leave them on the windowsill for a couple of hours before you cook them to maximise this!
Saffron to boost mood / make you happy
One of our golden rules for a good mood is to use more herbs and spices in cooking, and saffron is a particularly strong Good Mood Food.
Some research has shown that it may rival prosac, without any of the side effects. It’s expensive, so use is sparingly. Seeing as even the smell of saffron may even uplift the sprits, include it in drinks such as our ‘Uplifting Spiced Saffron Tea’ recipe which also has added turmeric – another mood boosting spice.
Natural sugar-free yoghurt when ‘worried sick’
We are leaning more and more about the links between the digestive system and the brain, so much so that our stomachs are now being referred to as our second brain. No wonder we literally feel sick to our stomach when we are anxious or stressed.
Good bacteria is key for healthy digestion, and some research has even shown that eating more yoghurt can help reduce anxiety and boost mood. Always go for the natural, sugar-free stuff!
Sour cherries and goji berries for sleep
Our sleep hormone is called melatonin, and this is made from a compound called
tryptophan. There are a few foods that actually contain melatonin itself and these include sour cherries and goji berries.
The easiest way to boost sour cherries into our diet is to drink cherry cordial – Cherry Active make a great one. You can also use dried sour cherries in deserts, but watch out for those covered in sugar!
We add them to our ‘Sleepy Peach, Cherry and Goji Crumble’ which also contains oats, a source of tryptophan, which is needed to make melatonin in the body.
Green leafy vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, chard and kale) for PMT
Green leafy vegetables are full of all kinds of mood supporting goodness, namely because they contain folic acid and magnesium. Magnesium relaxes muscles, supports the nervous system and nourishes the all-important adrenal glands which helps to relieve anxiety.
Folic acid is needed to help balance hormones, and also helps with the production of serotonin and dopamine, resulting in lesser symptoms of PMT. Greens also contain B Vitamins, which are needed throughout the brain to boost mood
Source: Daily Mail