Good mood festive food plan
However we decide to eat this Festive Season it's important to be aware that food can affect how we feel - for better or worse. So, if you find your mood changes along with your food, there just might be a connection!
- Start the day with a breakfast that contains protein and slow energy-releasing carbohydrates. This will satisfy and keep you off the chocolates for longer!
- Try some good mood oil-rich fish, perhaps as part of a cooked breakfast (e.g. grilled kippers or mackerel), a snack on toast (e.g. sardines on toast), or as sandwiches (e.g. smoked salmon sandwiches).
- Buy the best chocolates that aren't full of sugar, and avoid irritability and fatigue caused by blood sugar highs and lows.
- Stay calm by swapping additive-laden, sugary drinks for refreshing mineral water. Choose still or sparkling, and add interest with chopped fresh fruit and/or a dash of fruit juice.
- Tempt your taste buds with an attractive ready-to-eat plate of nutritious exotic fruits.
- Chomp on bowls of brazil nuts (for anti-depressant selenium); walnuts (for brain-boosting omega-3 oils), almonds (for relaxing magnesium and calcium).
- Crunch on lightly toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds for their good-mood minerals, protein, and omega-oils.
- Make and eat your own popcorn - it's fun and filling! Eat it plain, sprinkle on a little sea salt or drizzle on some honey.
- Dried figs and dates - traditional festive fare - help keep your digestion moving. Remember: the state of your gut is linked to the health of your brain.
- Enjoy your seasonal turkey - a good source of tryptophan that can boost levels of serotonin, the mood-enhancing brain chemical. Nut roast or lentil bake are the customary vegetarian/vegan tryptophan-containing alternatives.
- If you're wheat sensitive then try the wheat-free mince pies, puddings and cakes now available in health food shops and supermarkets.
- Cut down on caffeine to encourage a peaceful night's sleep. Instead, try herbal teas or a grain-based coffee alternative.
Please note this self-help information is not intended as an alternative to medical advice.