By Sara Healy
Spring is the perfect time to focus on healthy eating, as we all want to be ready to enjoy the outdoors and feel more energetic. But did you know that the food we eat can also have a positive impact on our mood and well-being? Discover the mood-boosting properties of five surprising foods:
Red bell peppers
These sweet and crunchy peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange, making them a great mood-boosting food. Vitamin C is known to reduce stress and anxiety levels, and red bell peppers are also low in calories and packed with other nutrients, making them the ultimate happy food.
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious, but they also contain mood-boosting vitamins like B6 and C. These vitamins play a crucial role in the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical in our brains. With so many different ways to cook them, including roasting, chips, and stews, sweet potatoes are an easy and tasty way to improve your mood.
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha are packed with probiotics that support good gut health. But did you know that they can also improve your serotonin levels? Serotonin is produced in the gut, and studies have shown that a healthy gut can lead to a healthier mindset. So, opt for your favorite fermented food to boost your mood.
Beans, peas, and lentils
Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils are versatile, cheap, and a great source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin. Incorporating legumes into your diet can help boost your mood and reduce cravings for less healthy carbs that could cause irritability. They are the perfect all-terrain food for a healthy diet.
While we should all aim to reduce our meat intake for the benefit of our planet, a juicy, high-quality steak can be a great source of iron and vitamins that increase oxygen flow to the brain. This helps manage mood swings and irritability, making it a good option for non-vegetarians who want to maintain a balanced diet.
Incorporating these mood-boosting foods into your diet can have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing. So this spring, make sure to add some red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, fermented foods, legumes, and even the occasional high-quality steak to your plate. You’ll not only be doing your body a favour, but your mind will thank you too.