Better Than Comfort Food: Try These 5 Happiness-Boosting Nutrients

Better Than Comfort Food: Try These 5 Happiness-Boosting Nutrients

Winter shouldn't mean giving up on your fitness and succumbing to SADness. The Seasonal Affective Disorder affects about 3% of the UK population, but many of us experience decreased energy levels and lower moods around this time of the year. Turn to these powerful nutrients which can help you balance mood naturally and keep cravings at bay.
1. Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids

The powerful nutrients found in oily fish, nuts and flaxseed are scientifically proven to take the edge off depression. If you don't necessarily feel like munching on flaxseed all day long, supplementing might be the easiest way to up your Omega 3 consumption effortlessly. Our tried and tested favourites include plant based options: Pukka Hemp Seed Oil and Lifestream V-Omega 3, derived from marine microalgae.

2. Tryptophan 

Did you know that our bodies can turn Tryptophan into serotonin? Maintaining healthy serotonin levels is crucial if you find yourself feeling blue way too often. This "chemical messenger" acts as a mood stabiliser, boosting your mood and regulating sleeping patterns. Enjoy pineapple, tofu and bananas to increase levels of this "happiness chemical".

3. Amino-acids
Amino-acids support mental health and mood in a variety of ways.  Being involved in many metabolic processes, glutamine protects against stress, depression and anxiety.  Carnitine is a known mood enhancer supporting better stress resistance. People suffering from  chronic fatigue syndrome or burnout frequently turn out to be carnitine-deficient.  Boost your intake of these amino-acids by enjoying chicken, turkey, fish, cheese, eggs, milk, nuts, pulses, bananas, avocados, legumes, and of course, spirulina.

4. B Vitamins

Vegetarians and vegans are often plagued by deficiency of essential vitamins from this group. The consequences for mood and general wellbeing can be severe. Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause extreme fatigue, weakness, irritability and depression. Boost your levels of B vitamins by including more spinach, peas, wheat germ and avocado in your diet. Supplementation is strongly recommended if you're a vegan.

5. Whole Grains 

Slow release carbohydrates such as oats, quinoa and brown rice can help maintain your energy levels – and therefore your mood - without having to resort to snacking. If you're still feeling hungry between meals, don't deprive yourself - seeds, nuts and wheatgrass juice can give you a healthy boost and banish cravings.

There is no doubt that conscious nutrition can help us feel happier, and can reduce the effects of more serious ‘lows’. If your diet is not already full of the foods mentioned above, why not try them and see if they make a difference.

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