Click here to find out how different foods can influence our mood plus a list of balanced meal ideas for you to try.

There’s no denying the fact we cannot control a whole lot in life. Dealing with devastating world events, unpredictable children and demanding jobs can quickly leave us feeling anxious and exhausted.

At the same time, I also believe that there is a lot we can do to take care of ourselves, especially during difficult times.

Because here’s the thing – feeding yourself with regular, nourishing meals will help you to better cope with life’s challenges. And giving yourself adequate fuel will ground you and lay the foundation for resilience in the face of setbacks.

Today I’m sharing how certain macronutrients affect our mood and a list of foods for you to try out. Keep in mind my lists are not exhaustive, simply a starting point.

Food & Mood Facts

Carbohydrates = fuel for your brain
Did you know? High-fiber complex carbohydrates are broken down more slowly resulting in longer lasting brain power.
Carbs are: Brown rice, beans, whole grain bread or crackers, whole oats, fruit (apple, pears, berries), starchy vegetables (sweet potato, squash, beets).

Fats = optimized brain function
Did you know? The brain is 60% fat. You need fats to keep the brain functioning and working well.
Fats are: Almonds, avocado, Brazil/ macadamia nuts, butter/ ghee, cashews, coconut (oil, butter, milk), cheese (full-fat), nut butters, olives/ olive oil, peanuts, pistachios, seeds (ground flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower & sesame), tahini, walnuts.

Protein = influences how you feel
Did you know: Almost all neurotransmitters (such as serotonin which keeps you happy) are made from protein.
Proteins are: Bacon, beef, chicken, cod, whole eggs, Greek yogurt, ham, lamb, protein powder, salmon, shrimp, tofu/tempeh, tuna, turkey.

Regular meals made up of a combination of carbohydrates + fat + proteins equals consistent blood sugar levels. This translates into fewer mood swings, more energy and clearer thinking for most people. In real-time this could look like:

Bean Salad: mixed beans + avocado + tuna + chopped veggies (your favorites)
Nachos: tortilla chips + cheese/avocado/olives + shredded chicken + diced bell peppers
Parfait: oats/ berries+ Greek yogurt + nuts

The best way to find out what meal mix works well for you is to experiment and pay attention to how the foods you chose made you feel. To help you uncover interesting clues about how certain food choices affect your mood, I’ve created a free Food-Mood Journal, which you can download here. 

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