Beyond the Bike: Mood FoodMaddy Slade | 7 May 2021
Here at Apex, we’re all about good vibes and good food. We believe in balance and having fun; there’s a time and a place for everything! We’re big foodies here - which is why we were pretty pleased to learn that there’s actually scientific research to support the belief that what you eat not only has positive effects on your body, but can boost your mood too! We thought we’d share a few of our favourite mood-boosting foods so you can reap those smile boosting rewards.
Our Favourite Good Mood Foods
Oily, Fatty Fish
Think Salmon and Mackerel. These are loaded with Omega 3s, those coveted fatty acids our bodies can’t produce on their own. These acids help fight inflammation in the body, which can help ease depression. The high vitamin D content present in salmon is also believed to help in cases of depression. Vitamin D is essential for the body, and a lack of it has been shown to have negative effects, not only on mood but also on bones, teeth, and muscles.
Eat your Greens!
Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, help to boost serotonin naturally. Spinach is also high in iron which can help boost energy levels. Leafy greens contain high levels of magnesium which helps you sleep and has also been known to improve levels of anxiety and depression. Our personal favourites are broccoli and kale. Eating greens definitely isn't boring; try out our favourite kale, halloumi salad here for a bit of inspiration.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and Seeds are all high in tryptophan, a chemical which is converted into serotonin in the body. This boosts your mood whilst also helping your sleep quality - yes please! Our bodies can’t make tryptophan on their own so try adding in a dose of nuts or seeds into your diet. It can be as easy as a handful of almonds or walnuts over your morning porridge, or a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds on your salad. Small additions like these over time make a world of difference in the long run.
If we ever needed an excuse to eat more chocolate - this is the one. Dark chocolate boosts the production of endorphins - those feel-good hormones we produce from a sweaty sesh on the spin bike. Yep, we can make these from eating chocolate too! Now that’s a win.
Dark chocolate is also full of antioxidants - these bad boys reduce the damage of free radicals found in the environment which damage our cells over time. It has also been shown to improve memory and focus - this is because it’s high in flavonoids. Basically what we’re saying here is a little bit of chocolate can actually be good for us. Need we say more?
There’s more and more research supporting the connection between the gut and the brain. If we have a healthy gut this sends positive signals up towards our brain. A way that we can help to boost the healthy bacteria in our guts is by eating probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods - fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and yoghurt are great for this! Probiotics and prebiotics can also be found in drinks such as kombucha and kefir. A daily probiotic supplement can also be beneficial and can ensure our gut is getting enough of that good bacteria which is vital for our health.
Implementing these foods into your regular diet will have a great impact on your daily life. These changes will happen gradually so be patient! Just like everything else, it’s about consistency. Whilst the research is still growing on the mood/food connection, all these foods are also wonderful for your overall health, so we recommend whacking them into your diet regardless!