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Top 'good mood foods'

10-Feb-2018 Top 'good mood foods'

Judy Bentley, a professional nutritionist, tells us how different foods can affect our mood.

These simple guidelines will help support your body's hormones and chemicals making your life happier and easier.

Complex carbohydrates

Meals containing whole carbohydrates such as grains, fruit, nuts, beans, pulses or starchy vegetables balance blood sugar which reduces cravings and raises serotonin, a calming brain chemical. Having a small carbohydrate snack (a slice of wholemeal bread or potato) an hour before bedtime can aid sleep. Equally, sugar causes anxiety and cravings by wrecking blood sugar balance and elevating the stress-hormone cortisol.


Having two to three portions of protein each day provides amino acids boosting the release of dopamine, another important mood chemical. Best sources are fish, seafood, meat, fowl, eggs, tofu or Greek-style yogurt. The amino acid tryptophan, especially useful in promoting good mood and restful sleep, is in pumpkin seeds, soya, shellfish, beans, lentils, tuna, chicken, turkey and lamb.

It is also extremely effective for emotional wellbeing at this time. Women can find their confidence declining and sometimes see their role within the family changing to a point where the way forward is unclear. Various techniques can help to focus women on their personal situation and consider all the possibilities.

Good fats

Fish, shellfish, seeds and nuts contain beneficial oils. Small amounts of saturated fats from butter, animal fats, full-fat dairy and coconut oil are also good. Conversely, a high-fat diet increases the risk of insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes), weight gain and epression.


These amazing life-enhancing and youth-preserving chemicals are found in delicious plants. Substances such as lycopene in tomatoes and selenium in Brazil nuts protect your cells from damage. Soya can balance hormones, and brassicas (such as cabbage and broccoli) help the liver to detoxify excess oestrogen and other substances.

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