7 healthy, mood-boosting foods
We’re all about treating our bodies right and with that comes a healthy wellbeing and state of mind. With statistics that 1 in 5 Australians aged between 16 and 85 will experience a mental illness, it’s more important than ever to focus on boosting your sense of self. While there’s no magic cure, eating a well-balanced diet has been proven to improve your mood.
Teaming up with Black Dog Institute, Aussie cookbook author and mental health advocate Judy Phillips has re-released her book Good Life Great Food: Recipes for Loving and Sharing, with all proceeds going to the organisation. Here, she shares seven mood-boosting foods that are both good for your mind and bod.
Yoghurt and other fermented foods contain loads of healthy bacteria, (probiotics) essential in maintaining a healthy gut. One recent study reduced the anxiety levels in mice just by giving them yoghurt bacteria. “There is growing literature showing a strong correlation between gut health and mental well-being,” says Judy.
Avocados are the food of the gods not just for their taste but because they’re rich in monounsaturated fats which help blood flow to the brain, says Judy.
Great in salads and burgers, beetroot is a great Aussie staple. “Like broccoli, beetroot is high in folic acid as well as fibre, manganese and potassium.” She suggests doubling up the goodness by including brain-boosting walnuts.
According to researchers at Cornell University, the chemicals found in apples and their skins can help protect the delicate neurons in your brain. Bake an apple pie on a Sunday arvo and you’re guaranteed to smile when you pull it out of the oven.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, ocean trout, seaweed and walnuts, are essential for healthy brain function. And important feel-good chemicals are made in healthy, happy brains.
It’s no surprise that greens are good for you, but broccoli and broccolini are among the high achievers thanks to their folic acid and other nutrients important for mood regulation, energy and quality sleep.
“Chicken, eggs, turkey and fish are all good proteins that provide the building blocks for a healthy nervous system,” says Judy.
Life Great Food: Recipes for Loving and Sharing (RRP $35), can be purchased at selected bookstores or online.