Fatigued or Energised?
Sliggish or Alert?
Low or Sad?
Anxious or Relaxed?
Rational or Irrational in decision making?
Irritable or Easy going?
Is your mind "foggy" or sharp during the day?
Nutrition plays a big part in not just our bodily health, but also all aspects of our wellbeing.
Research has shown mood can manipulate appetite and eating habits in many ways; increasing or decreasing hunger, speeding up eating speed, triggering cravings for more ‘palatable’ foods (think high fat and high carbohydrate; chocolate, sweets).
We need to choose to break the cycle, and as an act of self-care, learn to nourish our bodies.
1) Did You Eat A Good Breakfast?
Set yourself up for steady supply of energy instead of a sharp sugar spike which can cause mood swings an interfere with concentration.
Protein helps with (fullness) and wholegrain carbohydrates, or oats, are a great source of slow release energy.
Why not try 2 slices of wholegrain toast with eggs and spinach.
Or 30g Porridge Oats made with milk, ½ banana and some frozen berries.
2) Have You Had Enough Water Today?
Research has found even being slightly dehydrated impacts upon mood negatively.
Your brain is 78% fluid, but it doesn’t want constant supply of fizzy drinks or caffeine,
but plenty of water; 8 glasses minimum a day.
Don’t like the flavour? Spice it up with slices of lemon, lime or cucumber.
3) Pack Your Snacks!Your brain uses up 20% of the sugar from food as daily energy, and during sleep. Long breaks between meals, or having no snacks, can create large fluctuations in blood-glucose levels; low blood sugar can elevate feelings of anxiety, low mood and disrupts concentration
Carry snacks in your bag or car;
apples, raisins, banana, carrot sticks and hummus, even a couple of boiled
4) Go For Unsaturated Fats:
Much of your cellular and hormonal functioning is
reliant on adequate fat supply. Unsaturated fats rom nuts, seeds,
egg yolks, and oily fish are healthy sources.
Selenium is an important mineral found in many of these foods that helps with cognition (brain power), immune system function, and fertility. If deficient, found related to negative mood states.
5) Limit Alcohol & Caffeine:
is recommended to limit both caffeine and alcohol if suffering from clinically diagnosed mood disorder.
Both act in opposing ways; Caffeine is a
stimulant and its short-lived highs
can often create manic episodes, whilst alcohol is a depressant and can worsen low mood.
Alcohol has also been found to prevent absorption of certain nutrients in the body, such as Vitamin B, leading to deficiencies that enhance mood instability.
Why not experiment with different herbal teas, or alcohol free versions of drinks at social occasions.
For Greens and Grains:
Diets deficient in wholegrain, veggies and fruits often lead to feelings of tiredness, irritability and feelings of depression. Fantastic sources of zinc, folate, and B Vitamins and so many tasty ways to cook them up or hide them in your meals, just check out our recipes page to find some veg-spiration!
You can largely get all the vitamins your body needs from eating a varied diet (A,D, E K, & the 8 B Vitamins and Vitamin C).
The more colourful your plate is, regardless if it is from fresh or frozen, the more diversity of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) you are giving your body to function optimally.
Those who are vegetarian or vegan need to source B-12 from fortified cereals, milk and yoghurt products as it is this B Vitamin is only found in meat products.
8) Be Freezer Ready:
When the going gets tough, the tough need to have aback up plan that provides the same quick fix as fast food and ready meals. Instead of having frozen pizzas, chips at the ready why not freeze one portion of a meal each night during the week, so you have a freezer filled with nutritious, home cooked alternatives giving you no excuse to not eat a balanced meal.
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It is ok to eat your favourite fast foods, have a slice of cake and a bar of chocolate every now and again. A healthy diet is not a restricted diet. Long term look at the quality and quantity of the foods you are feeding your body and brain.
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