Feel-good foods for winter

Feel-good foods for winter
Credit: Photo by REX Shutterstock (4456746a)

It’s not exactly Tayto sandwiches and red lemonade, but it’ll do nicely

Getting up during the week to dark, frosty mornings isn’t the best way to ease yourself into the day. If your mood still doesn’t pick up as it gets lighter and the hours pass, you may want to incorporate these foods into your diet.

We begin with humble oatmeal, which is guaranteed to lift your spirits with its warm and creamy texture. Carbohydrates are known to boost the feel-good chemical serotonin in the brain, but you need to do it the right way, so choose porridge over a pastry or toast first thing. It will boost your energy levels too and if you fancy jazzing it up a bit add banana for potassium which helps control your blood pressure, or maple syrup which has previously linked to cleansing the body – only in small doses though!

Or, why not push the boat out and add a sprinkling of dark chocolate. This may sound too naughty for an average Tuesday morning, but chocolate really does make you feel better thanks to, again, boosting serotonin levels. A previous study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that people who drank a chocolate drink once a day, equalling 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate, were calmer than those who didn’t. Calm = relaxed, which hopefully leads to happiness!

And what better to go with chocolate than nuts – Brazil nuts in particular in this case. They’re packed full of selenium, a mineral that can lead to depression, anxiety and irritability if the body lacks it. Snack on them throughout the day, or add them to your porridge, salad or yoghurt – they’re so diverse there’s no excuse to avoid them (unless you’re allergenic of course).

If the last case applies to you, try out chickpeas. You can get them dried, have them in a curry or scoop up some hummus – any of these choices will see you reap the benefits of its vitamin B and magnesium content. These two components keep the nervous system at bay and ward off stress, leaving you feeling easy and breezy even during hectic times.

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