Today is World Health Day and the theme is Depression. Sometimes when we feel down, angry tired or upset we reach for the classic junk food “comfort foods”. However, when you look into the science, most comfort foods aren’t comforting at all – in fact most can do more harm than good.
The food-mood connection has been the subject of recent research, and many experts now recognise that certain foods have a powerful positive effect on mood.
Though no one food can permanently cure a case of the blues, there are a number of healthy options that have been scientifically proven to alter brain chemistry and hormones, counteracting bad and sad moods.
Mother Nature’s comfort foods will do more for your mind and body than any packaged or processed version ever could—trust us!
Happy Mood Foods
Red & Yellow Peppers
Red and Yellow peppers are very high in Vitamin C. Studies have revealed that the higher the concentration of Vitamin C the better as it is an important co-factor in the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has been linked to elevating moods, motivation levels and reducing stress and anxiety.
Hot chillies contain a natural compound called capsaicin. Our brain is loaded with receptors for this powerful endorphin and when thy chemicals reach our brain they and when they travel to our brain when the capsicum molecules travel to our brain which is loaded with receptors it trigger endorphins which have a natural calming, happy mood effect on us.
Avocados are a nutrient powerhouse but in relation to a happy mood food – oh yes! They re full of with depression-fighting folate, mood-lifting tryptophan and stress relieving vitamin B6.
Eggs are loaded with good Omega 3 fatty acids as well as Vitamin B12. These are essential for the development of the nerve cells and neurotransmitters. Deficiencies have been linked to irritability, depression and cognitive decline.
Butter, believe it or not is now considered a brain food. It has lots of nutrients full of health benefits that vegetable oils do not have. Some of the best ones for happy mood foods include the fat soluble vitamins A and D. Vitamin A promotes the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine which is a key player for mood and memory. Our wonderful Irish butter is even better as it comes from our grass fed cows.
It has some Omega-3 fatty acids which promote the growth of new brain connections and conjugated linoleic acid which is known to increase blood flow to the brain, extend the life of Bri cells and can even counteract that nasty stress hormone cortisol.
Iron rich foods like leafy green veg ( rocket, spinach kale ) and red meat are great sources of Iron. Sources of harm iron like red meat
Harm iron has a higher bioavailability than non harm sources so can be more readily absorbed by the body so foods like red meat or shellfish like mussels, clams and oysters are great to getting oxygen to the brain fast enough.
Since Mayan times cocoa has been renowned for givinigna n instant boost to our mood as well as improving our concentration levels. Now just to be clear, we are not talking Snickers here but proper raw cocoa and dark chocolate . It disbelieved that the antioxidants in dark chocolate can trigger the wall of your blood vessels to relax, lower blood pressure and imporve circulation. – all of which have a knock on effect on your happy mood. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium which helps alleviate sfeelings of fatigue, depression and irritability.
Berries are a great natural high fire food. they contain and antioxidant called quercein which is a powerful brain boosting element.
Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid, that the body converts into serotonin. It is serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone” that is responsible for promoting a positive, happy mood.