Wouldn’t it be great to have a good mood all the time? How is this possible I hear you asking. The weather’s still cold!
One simple way to boost your mood is by incorporating foods containing the amino acid tryptophan such include: mung beans, lobster, turkey, asparagus, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, pineapple, tofu, spinach and bananas. Tryptophan is synthesised into serotonin in the brain a neurotransmitter that that can be found in the digestive tract, central nervous system and blood platelets. Serotonin is responsible for regulating mood and makes you feel positive and confident. Carbohydrates are needed for serotonin production and the reason is because the insulin induced by the carbohydrate increases the tryptophan ratio over the other amino acids. Therefore ensure you are getting complex carbohydrates from potatoes, sweet potatoes, wholegrain pasta, rice, bread and oats. If you are following a restricted carb diet and feeling low most of the time, it is probable that you are not consuming sufficient carbs. For stable mood and energy levels try to avoid going longer than three hours without food and stay hydrated with herbal teas and water. If you don’t eat enough calories and nutrients from the foods you eat you run the risk of your body craving stimulants in the form of sugars and caffeine to give you the instant kick and adrenaline rush. One cup of coffee is fine a day but relying on more than three cups for example can play havoc with your hormones which will impact your mood. When the effects of the stimulants wear off the sugar high is quickly followed by a dip, setting off serious mood swings. This pattern can become a vicious cycle: as we become more miserable and sluggish, we crave more sugar, pile on more pounds and lose any motivation to exercise, worsening our mood further.
If you feel like your spirits are still low and you are eating balanced healthy meals it is worth seeking advise from your GP/health professional or nutritionist who can advise you on tests to check for hormone and nutrient deficiencies. Of course each case is unique and sometimes the diet may not address the underlying complaint. However looking closely at your diet is a good place to start.
Aside from your chomping on good mood foods you can get yourself motivated by following some or all of the tips below:
-If your weight is getting you down book a session with a personal trainer and nutritionist to get you back on the right track. Exercise creates mood-boosting endorphins – the body’s natural feel good chemicals
-Take up a new hobby & indulge your unique interests!
-Surround yourself with upbeat people and friends and have a good belly laugh.
-Visit a new place or country
-Listen to happy songs – a good tune will get you smiling in no time.