|The Good Mood Diet is here! (photo source: pixabay.com)|
This week’s article once again comes from Look. Entitled The Good Mood Diet, Look has provided us with seven guidelines to boost our moods through what we eat. As I, like most people, can get down at the slightest thing- normally rain at work- I thought exploring their potential in the real world would be a good idea. So here goes…
- The Power of Five: This rule basically means that we shouldn’t leave it too long between meals and that small meals are better than big ones. For myself, this is a feasible way to work my meals around when I can take a break as I have two half hour breaks during an eight hour day. So having my lunch in two halves works really well with this rule. For the average office worker, who only takes the one hour break, I would recommend having a small lunch but plenty of healthy snacks. That way you can keep your blood-sugar stable, therefore your mood stable, without resorting to the biscuit tin.
- Re-Friend Carbs: Now this is music to my ears, as a lover of bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. The trick is to choose brown, unrefined grains that are packed with B vitamins and slow release energy. These release sugar gradually into your blood, which stabilises your mood and stops you from crashing. How to work it for the real world… choose a wholemeal sandwich or brown pasta salads for lunch. You could even consider an oatcake or two for a snack.
- Cut Back On Coffee: For me this is a no-brainer as I’ve given up caffeine for over two years now. For those of you who can’t imagine life without five cups a day, you’re consuming around 700mg of caffeine. That can result in mood swings and depression due to the caffeine crashes. Look recommends switching to green tea as it contains an antioxidant that regulates moods. Personally I stick to fruit and herbal teas at home and treat myself to a creamy decaf latte when I’m out. The choice is yours.
- Eat Some Feel-Good Greens: Green vegetables never fail to appear on almost every diet so there must be something good about them. Apparently, for moods it is all about kale. It contains folate, which is a B vitamin to may help to reduce depression symptons. Sounds like a mood-booster to me. If kale isn’t possible, Look suggests spinach as an alternative. Personally, I think it’s a great alternative and love adding it to my microwaveable rice when at work. The splash of green just makes me feel happier and healthier.
- Get Nutty: My mum was very happy with this guideline, as the suggested nut is one of her favourites. The humble brazil nut is full of selenium, which can apparently help to ward off depression. Even better, nuts in general help to boost our memory and mood due to their omega-3 fats. So that’s another suggestion to add to the possible snacks list, particularly as they are brilliant for slow release energy.
- The No-Dips Dip: Not so keen on this idea as I’m not a fan of avocados or raw tomatoes. Yes, I’m talking about guacamole. If this Mexican dip is your cup of tea, make it yourself by whizzing up avocados and tomatoes together. Once more, they are filled with B vitamins to reduce any irritability.
- Don’t Quit Chocolate: My favourite guideline, particularly if I combine it with brazil nuts. And not just any chocolate, but dark chocolate! Magnesium and antioxidants, which are apparently in our favourite quick pick-me-up, reduce anxiety and stabilise the neurotransmitters responsible for mood functions. So grab a bar of good value dark chocolate (put that Bourneville down!) and tuck in. But remember, more than 100g and the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.
So that’s my take on Look‘s simple food tweaks to help our moods. I’ll be trying as many as possible in the week to come. How about you? Any that you think will slot into your life without much hassle? Or are tweaks too much of a lifestyle change?