January is the least popular month of the year! The summer seems so far away, the days are still cold and dark and to top it off, your new year’s resolution is to eat healthily.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s all about the veggies and tasty treats are banned (phew!) We’ve found some top foods that will not only help you keep your resolution, but also boost your mood and get you through those January blues! It’s not all doom and gloom!
Good news chocolate lovers! You don’t have to give up your most favourite treat as dark chocolate is known for stimulating the production of endorphins. And, if that wasn’t enough to convince you, it can also boost levels of serotonin, which acts as an antidepressant, and its antioxidants can even reduce stress levels. What are we waiting for!
Forget herbal remedies and tablets – because bananas can help you sleep! The easy, on-the-move snack contains amino acid tryptophan which is needed to make melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep cycle. They are even a great source of carbohydrate and vitamin B6, which aid in the production of mood-lifting serotonin. So more sleep and a better mood – all hail the banana!
Take a leaf out of Popeye’s book (literally) and stock up on your greens! Spinach is an excellent source of nutrients, containing vitamin B which helps the production of brain mood-boosting chemicals serotonin and dopamine, it’s even a great source of iron. To keep up their good work, aim to have at least 2 portions of spinach and other greens such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale, every day.
Oily fish is the ultimate brain food. Packed full of omega-3, fish such as sardine, mackerel and tuna are known to help the brain interpret moods and even boost concentration levels. Aim to eat at least 3 times a week and you can kiss those blues away! If you don’t eat fish, chia seeds and flaxseeds are the best plant source of omega-3 and can be sprinkled over porridge, soups, and salads.
For something to get you through the dark mornings, opt for a bowl of delicious oats. Oats release energy slowly into the bloodstream, rather than the quick energy rush you get from sugary cereals which are followed by a dip that leaves you tired and grumpy. Spruce up your porridge by adding berries, nuts, and seeds which are bursting with mood-boosting antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Small but mighty, lentils are a complex carb that helps to stabilise blood sugar. They are a great source of iron, protein and dietary fibre, and contain folate – a lack of which has been linked to depression. Add it to your soups and stews for a healthy and delicious taste.
With these mood-boosting, energy lifting foods, January doesn’t have to be so bad after all! For more hints and tips to beat the blues, stay tuned to our blog throughout January.
And, if you’re looking to spice up your winter favourites, check out our 5 Delicious Winter Recipes with a Twist.