If your January diet has gone out the window and you’re feeling a little glum about 2012 then it might be worth considering eating some good mood food.
Just to explain the scientific side of it all, there’s a chemical called Tryptohan which can be found in protein foods. Tryptohan is an amino acid which converts into Serotonin in the brain and it is essentially Serotonin which makes us want to skip through meadows with our hair blowing freely in the wind.
Carbohydrates, especially the lovely slow release ones, help the absorption of Tryptohan over the blood-brain barrier. Therefore when eating protein, we should eat a little carbohydrate too, however in moderation and definitely the good kind.
It is not just Tryptohan which can be held responsible for good mood though and it is important to make sure you eat a varied and balanced diet. Here is a list of vitamins defeciencies which have been linked to poor mood and a handy hint as to where you can find them.
- B1 – Poor concentration (Oats)
- B3 – depression, stress (Fish + Nuts)
- B5 – poor memory (Yogurt + Fish)
- B6 – depression, poor memory, irritability, stress (Eggs + Brown Rice)
- B12 – poor memory, confusion (Fish + Chicken)
- Folic acid – anxiety, depression (Sprouts + Spinach)
- Magnesium – anxiety, depression, irritability, stress, insomnia (Brown Rice + Pumpkin Seeds)
- Vitamin C – depression (cabbage + tomatoes)
- Selenium – depression, irritability (Brazil Nuts + Sunflower Seeds + Fish)
- Zinc – depression, confusion, blank mind, loss of appetite, lack of motivation (Sesame seeds + roast beef)
- Omega 3 – depression, poor memory (Walnuts + Fish)
It is important to remember that these are simply tips and for further advice on diet and bad mood, it is important to seek the advice of your GP.