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5 mood-boosting foods

15th April 2020

As the coronavirus lockdown continues, many people are not only concerned about their physical health, but their mental health too. Worries about the health of loved ones, disturbed sleep, financial struggles and uncertainty can all leave you feeling down in the dumps. Not to mention that plenty of people aren’t working right now (either because they’ve lost their jobs or are on furlough) which can make you feel unproductive or lacking in purpose and direction.

We can help you out with the physical health worries, as we stock a number of items to help you protect against coronavirus, including face masks, sanitiser and disinfectant. But if you’re in need of a mood boost then it’s your kitchen cupboards that could help you out, rather than a day with friends or a holiday. There are plenty of nutrition-rich foods you could reach for that not only help to nourish your body, but also help with wellbeing and mood.

Here are 5 foods you should choose if you’re in need of a pick-me-up.

Berries

You probably know by now that berries are rich in antioxidants but did you know that that’s been linked to a lower risk of mood disorders? It seems as though eating more fruit and vegetables is linked to lower rates of depression.

Berries also pack a healthy dose of anthocyanins and phenolic compounds, which play a key role in combating oxidative stress.

Chocolate

Everyone loves a bit of chocolate right? Well, despite the calories, it could be better for you than you realise. Chocolate is rich in mood-boosting substances such as caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine (a substance chemically similar to cannabinoids that have been linked to improved mood).

Although sugar contains calories that when eating in excess can lead to weight gain, a little sugar can boost your mood as it provides an instant source of fuel for the brain.

Also, there’s no arguing that chocolate has a pleasurable smell, taste and texture - qualities that give it a high “hedonic” rating and promote a good mood.

Oats

To start your morning well, why not try an oaty breakfast like porridge? Oats are a great source of fibre and the way they release energy slowly can help to keep your mood regulated by avoiding pesky sugar spikes.

Oats are also a rich source of iron, and low iron levels have been linked to fatigue, sluggishness and mood problems.

Bananas

Have you heard of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin? These substances are created by the brain and low levels of either one can be linked to depression, anxiety and other disorders.

Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 which helps to synthesize these neurotransmitters, and when paired with the slow-release energy and fibre, they deliver a hit of goodness.

Oily fish

Is there anything that oily fish isn’t good for? Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are all key sources of omega-3 which are key for cognitive function and linked to lower levels of depression.

The benefits of oily fish are not only mood-related either. They’re also thought to help against cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and dementia.

Weight loss

If you’re looking for ways to lose weight rather than boost mood then you should certainly incorporate a healthy balanced diet with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. However, if you haven’t been able to lose weight by diet and exercise alone then you may benefit from our weight loss tablets, such as Orlistat.

These are available without an existing prescription, using our online consultation process.