Health | Cheer up with mood-boosting foods

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The dark mornings and post-festive blues can make January a very long month. We look at some of the foods that can help lift your mood in the final weeks.

Whether you are kickstarting a healthy eating regimen or just suffering from post-Christmas blues, January can be a tough, and very long month.

How do you maintain a good mood when you the weather is cold and dark, and everyone seems in bad form?

As with all health and well being matters, food plays a critical role in impacting your mood. And while it’s tempting to reach for the coffee at this time, we should be eating more energy-friendly foods.

Brazil nuts, for example, are a great snacking choice to help lift your mood. They are the best sources of the mineral selenium, with studies showing that people who are low in it have increased rates of anxiety and tiredness.

Oily fish is also beneficial as they are high in omega-3 which makes up a large percentage of our brain tissue. Salmon, mackerel and sardines, for example, keeps your brain healthy and improves your mood by keeping brain cells flexible. At least one serving a week is sufficient of each.

Thanks to their low glycaemic index (GI) index, oats are an effective mood booster. They slowly release energy into the bloodstream, which keeps blood sugar and mood stable.

Love bananas? Good news as they contain the amino acid tryptophan as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, fibre, potassium, iron and carbohydrates.

Lentils also help increase the brain’s production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. This results in a calmer, happier state of mind with less anxiety. Lentils can also help you  boost your iron levels, which helps to give a boost of energy.