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How To Improve Your Mood With Food: Our Nutritionist Tells All

Oct 04, 2023

Did you know that the foods you eat can affect your mood? It’s no news that sugar is detrimental to your health... but did you know it could be affecting your mental health as well? From worsening anxiety to increasing your risk of depression, sugar can wreak havoc on your nervous system. Additionally, an unhealthy diet that is high in processed foods and sugar, and low in fibre, can seriously leave you lacking in some important nutrients that your brain needs to function properly and promote a healthy mood balance. Nutrient deficiencies including iron, zinc, folate, vitamin D and magnesium have been linked to mood disorders.

WHAT FOODS CAN BOOST YOUR MOOD?

Healthy Fats

Did you know that our brains are made of 60% fat?

It is vital to include healthy fats daily to support brain health and adequate hormone production. Healthy fat sources include avocado, oily fish, dairy products, nuts & seeds, olives and extra virgin olive oil.

Protein 

Protein contains the building blocks for neurotransmitters which influence mood and brain performance. Aim for at least 3 serves of high quality, lean protein per day. Red meat contains extra vitamins like B12, zinc and folate. 

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is involved in the production of serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter which helps boost mood and happiness. Tryptophan is present in most protein-rich foods such as meat - however, white meat like chicken and turkey breast is richer in tryptophan than red meat. 

Curcumin

Turmeric, a spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties, contains curcumin, which has mood boosting effects. Curcumin is a compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help lower anxiety. Adding a dash of turmeric to your meals can contribute to your overall mood and well-being. 

B Vitamins 

B Vitamins are cofactors for neurotransmitters and also aid our stress response. Low levels of vitamin B12 or vitamin B6 are linked to depression. Foods rich in B vitamins include meat, leafy green vegetables and avocados. 

Zinc

Low zinc levels are associated with depression and anxiety.  This could be because zinc is a key player in making your neurotransmitters, otherwise known as your happy hormones – serotonin and dopamine. Foods rich in zinc include fish, meat and seafood.

Magnesium 

Magnesium is an important mineral for mood balance. Foods rich in magnesium include dark chocolate (cacao), leafy greens and nuts & seeds.

Eating a diet rich in mood-boosting foods can make a substantial difference in your emotional well-being. These foods can help you feel more energetic, positive, and less stressed. Incorporate these foods into your daily meals for optimal results.

MOOD BOOSTING FOODS SHOPPING LIST

 

Food

Nutrients for Mood 

Spinach/leafy greens 

Magnesium, B vitamins

Pumpkin seeds

Zinc, magnesium, tryptophan

Berries

Vitamin C, antioxidants

Avocado

B vitamins, healthy fats

Chia seeds

Healthy fats

Turmeric

Curcumin

Dark chocolate

Magnesium, tryptophan

Turkey or chicken breast

Lean protein, tryptophan

Steak

Lean protein, B vitamins, zinc

TRY OUR MOOD BOOSTING SMOOTHIE

Our in-house nutritionist Bree has created a healthy mood boosting protein smoothie which is the perfect pick me up for those days when you need a bit of a boost!

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL NEED

HERE'S HOW TO MAKE IT

  1. Add all ingredients into blender
  2. Enjoy!

A classic, rich vanilla flavour that the whole gang will love. Our THRIVE Vanilla Pancake Batter Plant Protein is the perfect flavour addition to baked goods, raw treats, smoothie bowls and everything in between. THRIVE Plant Protein is vegan, all-natural, gluten-free and contains no hidden nasties or artificial ingredients. To make things even better, we've formulated our protein supplement with added superfoods, minerals and functional ingredients to promote a thriving, healthy body from the inside out! 

SHOP THRIVE NOW

By Breeanna Betar

Breeanna is a degree qualified Clinical Nutritionist specialising in women’s health. In her private clinic, she works one on one with women to help them achieve their health goals. Bree possesses a profound understanding of women’s health needs and is committed to sharing her knowledge with the Naked Harvest community, and is proud to be involved in Naked Harvest’s mission of revolutionising the active supplement industry.