We all know that the food we eat can be related to how we feel. Some foods make us feel ‘blah’, while others are filled with nutrients and goodness to leave us feeling great.
Good foods can massively improve your mood, energy levels, and overall health and wellbeing.
Here are some of our top picks for feel-good foods you should add into your diet.
1. Leafy greens (like spinach or kale)
Your mum wasn’t mucking around when she told you to eat your greens when you were a kid. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are a great source of magnesium and vitamin A, which can help you manage stress and fight off sickness. If you’re not a big fan of greens, sneak them into your diet atop pizzas, in smoothies or in sandwiches or wraps. You’ll feel better, we swear!
2. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are packed full of things your body loves, like folic acid, magnesium, potassium, fibre, protein and iron. Eating beans can help with keeping inflammation at bay, and they can easily be snuck into your diet in salads, stews, soups and stir-fries.
3. Oily fish (like salmon and tuna)
If you’re feeling a bit sluggish or down, eating oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout or mackerel can put a pep back in your step. Fish like this is brimming with omega 3 fatty acids, which can boost serotonin levels. Serotonin, also known as ‘the happy chemical’, is a found mostly in your digestive system, which is responsible for happiness and countering depression. So, with more of it circulating your body, you’ll be actively fighting off the blues – one tin of tuna at a time!
4. Fermented foods (like yoghurt and kimchi)
Fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi, and certain aged raw milk cheeses (like feta and gouda) are high in probiotics – the beneficial bacteria that keep your insides healthy. Add these foods to your meals to fight off infection and keep your digestive system running smoothly. It’s also great to up your intake of these foods when you’re taking antibiotics, as they’ll help heal and replenish your body so you feel 100% again.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are rich in antioxidants, which can help fight off ageing and keep your skin looking young and glowing. They also contain vitamin C, which is hugely beneficial for fighting against stress and sickness. Enjoyed in salads, desserts or as a snack on their own, there’s really no reason why you can’t sneak a few berries into your daily intake!
Nuts are a great healthy snack option. They contain heaps of nutrients and antioxidants, and studies have shown they can even help you lose weight. Most nuts contain healthy fats as well as fibre, calcium, vitamin E and antioxidants. So ditch your afternoon packet of chips for a healthy handful of almonds or brazil nuts to boost your wellbeing!
We know – hallelujah! Avo’s are on the list of feel-good foods, and not just because they’re so damn tasty smashed on toast. Avocados also contain a good amount of ‘healthy fats’, along with amino acids, fibre, vitamins and minerals to help with inflammation and boosting your metabolism.
There’s nothing like a tasty bowl of warm oats to cheer you up on a chilly morning. If you find yourself feeling comforted and happy as you tuck into your porridge, this may have something to do with the fact that oats also boost serotonin levels, to ward off anxiety and stress. They’re also high in fibre and keep you feeling full for longer.
While eating feel-good foods is one way of boosting your mood, it’s also beneficial to exercise regularly. Don't forget to get those endorphins going and soon you'll be feeling not just good, but great!