Diet & Nutrition

Gemma McCaw on how to eat your way to happiness

Your guide to a happy gut!

By Gemma McCaw

Around 90% of your happiness hormones are found in your gut. Serotonin plays a big role in your moods, memories and sleep patterns.

The gut is known as the second brain and if we feed it with processed food, it can leave you feeling more fatigued and depressed.

When you are tired or stressed, reaching for highly processed foods won't serve your body or brain well. Growing research indicates that making changes to what you eat can have a major impact on your mood and improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Try some of these mood-boosting foods to feel good and function well.

Superfood Spinach

Spinach is a superhero of leafy green vegetables. Aside from iron, it is also high in fibre and magnesium, which are linked to your mood. Some research suggests that magnesium deficiency can be linked to stress, anxiety and depression, so add a handful of spinach to your lunch, dinner or green smoothie and reap the rewards!

Berries help our brains

Berries are packed with antioxidants, which are essential for brain health. They're also high in fibre, which aids digestion, another key area that impacts your overall health and wellbeing.

Almonds could improve your mental health

Almonds are packed with nutrients and have been known to help mental health. This superfood is high in tyrosine, which is essential for the production of dopamine, the chemical responsible for reward and pleasure centres in the brain. Raw almonds are great as a snack and almond meal can be used as a wheat-free flour substitute.

Bananas relax you

Bananas are one of life's good foods as the contain tryptophan, a protein that the body converts into serotonin. This helps you relax, boosts your mood and makes you feel happier.

Chocolate actually is good for you

It's good news for chocolate lovers! Eating dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa can help ward off depression as the chemicals in chocolate release serotonin. Make sure you limit yourself to a couple of squares, though, as it's also high in calories!

Salmon is packed with healthy fats

Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which boost energy, enhance circulation, reduce inflammation and maintain heart health.

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