Saturday, 18 February 2017

Good foods for your moods

Many of us, find february a tough month full of unwanted valentine advertisements and bad weather. But for those who suffer with mental health problems, every month is a rollercoaster of emotions. Mental health is a confusing and complicated subject, which can make it extremely difficult for suffers to talk to others about their problems. This means they are forced to deal with their issues and control them in any way they can.
Believe it or not, food plays a big factor in your mental health. Nutrients and dietary patterns are linked to changes in the brain proteins and therefore increase the connections between the brain cells.
Here are some basic facts which prove your diet affects your mental state:

  • Sugary foods are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and cause a surge of energy, which then wears off leaving the body feeling tired and low.
  • Not drinking enough fluid has significant implications and even mild dehydration can cause mood swings. 
  • High consumption of caffeine will result in high blood pressure and anxiety.  
  • Caffeine also affects the body by encouraging the production of urine so you therefore lose liquids easily. 

There is no scientific proof on the other hand that certain foods can cure your mental health. But there is proof that when you are more physically healthy you are healthier mentally as well.

Omega 3  

Supplements of omega 3 oils reduce symptoms of depression!
Fish, seaweed are all great sources of omega 3!
Evelline Andrya Illustration - Cute Fish - would be fun to watercolor: Chickens - Art and illustration by Amy Blackwell:

If those do not tickle your tastebuds try flaxseed or walnuts.

Low Carb No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins - so healthy you could have it for breakfast. Grain free, packed with carrots and sweetened with banana and stevia. Super-moist and so easy to make:
Carrot vegan muffins made with flaxseed, almonds, walnuts and vegan frosting! YUM
Whole Grains
Glucose is the primary source our brain uses for energy. It comes from carbohydrates, which are split into two families, simple and complex. We need a good balance of both for a good balance of glucose. Wholegrain cereals, pulses, fruit and vegetables are more filling so generally have a low glycaemic index than processed foods. They also contain what is known as thiamin (B1) which is is associated with mood control.

Breads are a perfect source of carbohydrates, my  favourite bread is a wholewheat pitta (especially with hummus)! Cereals are brilliant if they are high in fibre and low in sugar such as muesli.
Pasta and rice are also good in keeping you fuller for longer and are naturally low in saturated fats.

The Fruits and Veggies! 

Sweet potatoes - Rich in folate and fabulous at keeping our blood sugars levels steady. Try jazzing them up with creative toppings as an alternative to your white jacket potatoes.

 Spinach - Its rich in iron and is a perfect energy booster that eliminates fatigue and aids your concentration. Again just like the sweet potato it too is rich in folate. Try adding it to tomato dishes such as this tomato and spinach penne here.

Bananas - Not everyones cup of tea, but they can balance hunger and mood levels. They also stabilize your blood sugar and their high B6 content lowers your stress levels. If you don't enjoy the texture of a raw banana try making a banana smoothie or alternatively some baked banana goods such as my banana flapjack here.

Food should also be about enjoyment, it is vital that during a meal you enjoy your food as otherwise it becomes a chore. There is so much psychological benefits of having enjoyable foods, try to eat one of your favourite foods at least once a day to release endorphins and boost your happiness. 


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