A Nutritionist's Guide to Food and Mood
- Date 09 October 2018
- Words By Rhiannon Lambert
Food and Mood, what’s the deal?
Eating a healthy diet can do a lot to improve your mood and sense of wellbeing. In fact, exploring the relationship between what you eat and how you feel can be really effective. Improving your diet can help towards more positive feelings, clearer thinking, more energy and calmer moods. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps to relay messages from one area of the brain to another. It’s believed to influence a variety of psychological and other bodily functions. Most of our brain cells are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin. It’s also known as our happy hormone and those of us with low serotonin levels are said to feel better when eating sugar. This is obviously not the optimal healthy pathway to alleviate our mood and it often leads to binge eating, not to mention an unhealthy body. Instead you can help serotonin production yourself by consuming plenty of carbohydrate and quality protein containing the amino acid tryptophan.
What in my food affects my mood?
- B vitamins - We need B vitamins to get or make energy from our food, otherwise we may feel lethargic and even depressed. B vitamin-rich foods include whole grains, fish and seafood, meat, eggs, milk, leafy green vegetables, beans and peas.
- Glucose - The glucose in our blood comes from all the carbohydrates we eat – foods including fruit, vegetables, potatoes, cereals, bread, rice, sugars and lactose in milk.
- Omega-3 fatty acids - Good sources of omega-3 are oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines), omega-3 eggs (check the box), walnuts and flaxseeds.
- Tryptophan - An amino acid needed to help make serotonin, which is essential for regulating mood, emotion, sleep and appetite. Find it in bananas, walnuts, turkey, milk, eggs, cheese, brown rice, chicken and fish.
- Water - Dehydration can cause headaches, mood changes, fatigue, poor concentration and slower responses.
Registered with the Association for Nutrition (AFN), Rhiannon Lambert is a leading Harley Street Nutritionist. Rhiannon’s qualified approach to nutrition and total dedication to her clients’ needs has seen Rhiannon work with some of the world’s most influential people. She has obtained first class Bachelor (BSc) and Master’s (MSc) degrees in Nutrition as well as Diplomas in Nutritional Interventions and Excellence in Practitioner Skills for Eating Disorders. Rhiannon’s book Re-Nourish is available on Amazon.