Fitness and Nutrition Tips to Boost your Mood
January is home to short days, grey skies, and “Blue Monday”, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. It’s more important in this month to know what you can do to feel good. We all know that a balanced diet and fresh air should make us feel better, in this article, Nutritional Therapist Laura Southern, and Fitness Ambassador Ellie Baker, give tips on boosting your mood.
Boosting your mood with Nutrition
As the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat’, so why not include foods in your diet which help boost your mood? Our Nutritional Therapist, Laura Southern, shared a few foods which are useful for helping support ‘happy hormones’ (i.e. serotonin) in the body.
Meat, especially turkey, contains an amino acid called tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin. Try replacing chicken breast with turkey in a stir fry, or turkey mince in a shepherd’s pie.
Complex carbohydrates such as oats or brown rice, are very important at keeping the blues at bay! Serotonin release in the brain is actually increased by carbohydrates, whereas protein rich food doesn’t have this effect. If you notice that you flag before lunch, have the carbs at breakfast, if you feel the need to binge at night, include a carb source at lunch and dinner.
Essential fats are found in foods such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts. Essential fats are used in the brain to create neurones and enable neurotransmitters to communicate effectively ensuring a good balance of happy hormones – try to consume some ‘good’ fat with every meal, such as seeds on your breakfast, salmon at lunch, and good quality olive oil at dinner.
Veg, Veg, Veg!
Brightly coloured fresh vegetables contain a wide range of antioxidants which are essential for brain health, and they also contain B vitamins which can help reduce stress hormones and provide energy. Try and incorporate a range of brightly coloured veg at every meal.
Don’t underestimate the importance of taking regular walks outside in the daylight and taking a vitamin D supplement, especially in the darker winter months!
Boosting your mood with fitness:
We asked our Fitness Ambassador, Ellie Baker, to share some tips she would give a friend who was suffering from a low mood.
“Often when you’re feeling down the last thing on your mind would be exercise, however once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference because of the feel-good endorphins exercise releases in your brain and also by simply taking you mind off of any worries.
So, I would say to my friend that you’re not alone in feeling down and would encourage and motivate them into making that first step in getting out there and letting off some steam while they exercise. Regular exercise in the long run can help you to gain confidence.”