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If you’re in need of a bit of a lift, try adding one these mood-boosting foods to your shopping list.

When it comes to looking after your body, a nutrient-rich, balanced diet is a no brainer. But some research shows certain types of foods could have a positive effect on your mood, too.

Here are five foods that could help you feel better in both mind and body. 

Fatty fish

Fatty fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel (or if you’re a vegan, try avocado), are known for their rich Omega-3 content, which may protect against heart disease. But did you also know that some scientists believe Omega-3s could contribute to healthy brain function, making you feel physically and mentally healthier.

And because we require all of our own-brand fish to be certified as ethical by at least one independent body, when you buy with us you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re helping look after our oceans – another reason to feel good!

Dark chocolate

Delicious and indulgent, it’s no surprise that chocolate is many people’s go-to when they need a comforting treat. But dark chocolate – with 70% cocoa or more – contains an amino acid called tryptophan. This is linked to the brain’s production of mood-boosting serotonin, giving you all the more reason to whip up a batch of these delicious salted caramel truffles.

(Although do enjoy in moderation – dark chocolate contains caffeine, too much of which could make you feel anxious.)

Bananas

Feeling tense? The humble banana contains potassium and magnesium, known for their muscle relaxing properties, making it a great snack. Bananas are also packed with B vitamins which can help with your body’s natural release of melatonin, and may help you sleep better. 

Oats

Oats are part of the complex carbohydrate family, which means they’ve got a low glycaemic index (GI), and take longer to break down. The result? A steady release of energy all day, helping avoid a mid-afternoon slump when your blood sugar – and mood –  crashes.

Yoghurt and fermented foods

The power of fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir and miso have long been documented as having a calming effect on the mind, but scientists have only recently begun to understand why. As it turns out, our stomachs are lined with a network of neurons, to the point where some now call the gut our second brain! It’s a great reason to keep it nourished with the probiotics contained in live yoghurt. Try it savoury in this Indian-style mint and coriander raita, or sweet as part of this creamy pineapple crunch.

Find out more – Be kind to your mind: where to find support for your and others mental wellbeing.

Naomi Hayes,
Community Mission Manager (Wellbeing)

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#TheCoopWay, Campaigning, Food