In January, when the weather is often cold and gloomy and post-holiday blues may set in, it’s important to focus on nourishing foods that can boost both your mood and overall well-being.
If the blues are getting to you, include some foods rich in tryptophan - an amino acid that serves as a pre-cursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in mood regulation and overall well-being. Foods high in tryptophan include turkey, chicken, salmon, eggs, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Make sure you include some complex carbohydrates in your diet as these can also increase serotonin levels by promoting the absorption of tryptophan in the brain. Choose complex carbohydrates with a low-glycaemic index such as brown rice, oats, beans, lentils, chickpeas and sweet potatoes.
January is dull enough so allow a little indulgence with some dark chocolate which contains antioxidants and serotonin precursors which help to enhance our mood. Moderation is key, but a small amount of low sugar and high cocoa dark chocolate can be a great mood booster.
With the cold weather, don’t forget that some herbal tea can help to keep you warm and hydrated. Chamomile and peppermint tea both have calming effects on the body and mind.
Finally, if you’re looking to start your day on an upbeat note, try this fluffy eggs recipe with cottage cheese for a high protein, mood boosting breakfast.