1. Slow releasing, low GI carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are essential for the uptake of serotonin — the number one neurotransmitter or brain chemical responsible for promoting feelings of happiness, calm and relaxation. Research shows that slow releasing, low glycaemic carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, cereals, oatmeal, brown rice and oats are particularly beneficial as not only do they stimulate the uptake of serotonin, they also help to prevent fluctuations in mood by keeping energy levels constant throughout the day
2. Turkey and chicken
Turkey and chicken along with other protein rich foods such as fish, beans, nuts and seeds all contain tryptophan - an amino acid essential for the production of the happy hormone, serotonin.
3. Oily fish
Low levels of omega three fatty acids can trigger low mood and increase vulnerability to depression so eat plenty of fresh tuna (not canned), salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, avocado, nuts, seeds and oils such as hemp and flaxseed. These are all rich in omega three fatty acids and eating them on a regular basis has been shown to significantly improve the way that we feel.
Dehydration can be a major cause of fatigue and with fatigue comes irritability and bad moods so make sure you drink at least two litres of water a day. If plain water really doesn't float your boat, try diluting fresh fruit juices or adding a little flavour in the form of fresh mint or lemon and plenty of ice.
5. Fruit and vegetables
Even very small deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can have a profound affect on the way that you feel so it's perhaps not surprising that in a survey of over 200 people, (backed by the mental health charity 'Mind') over 78% of people found that when they included a wide variety of fruit and vegetables into their diets their mood considerably improved.
Research shows that people who eat a high-fibre diet, particularly one that contains plenty of whole grains such as wholegrain bread, cereals, oats, barley, brown rice and oatmeal are less emotionally distressed; have a more positive mood; have less difficulty falling asleep and lower depression scores than people who eat a low-fibre diet. Experts believe that the role fibre plays in keeping blood sugars constant and energy levels high plus the increase in vitamins (particularly the stress fighting B vitamins) and minerals often associated with a high fibre diet may be just two reasons why fibre intake is so closely associated with a happier state of mind.