As the UK continues to adjust to daily life amid the coronavirus lockdown, it's more important than ever that we look after our minds and bodies. Navigating the uncharted waters of a global pandemic can understandably cause feelings of stress and anxiety, but there are steps we can take to boost our moods. Taking note from Nutribuddy's Educational Nutritionist, Kelly Rose, and other health organisations, we've rounded up 7 of the best spirit-lifting foods sure to get you through lockdown - and you'll probably have most of them in your kitchen cupboards already!
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Good news for garlic lovers, turns out your favourite herb is a major mood-booster! A powerful and natural prebiotic, Kelly explains that it is "packed with zinc - an essential nutrient in immune health, and also one of the identified antidepressant nutrients."
Are you even a millennial if you don't love avocado? One of the most popular superfoods, avocados are particularly beneficial because they contain "magnesium, iron, zinc, Vitamin A, C and several Vitamin Bs," says Kelly.
Healthline describes oats as a "whole grain that can keep you in good spirits all morning." An excellent source of fibre, which allows for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream, oats have been said to help manage mood swings and irritability.
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4. Beans, Peas & Lentils
The NHS website states that: "Pulses, including beans, peas and lentils, are naturally very low in fat and high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals." Mental health charity Mind UK explains that high protein foods contain "amino acids, which make up the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings."
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nutritionist Kelly explains that many nuts and seeds are high in "tryptophan - an amino acid essential in the production of serotonin (the feel good hormone)."
6. Dark Chocolate
A 2019 study led by Dr Sarah Jackson at UCL found that people who reported eating dark chocolate in two 24-hour periods had 70 percent lower odds of reporting depressive symptoms than those who reported not eating chocolate at all. Brimming with flavonoids and phenylethylamine (PEA) which are said to boost mood, dark chocolate has previously been considered as a potential alternative to antidepressants.
7. Bell Peppers
"Peppers feature highly in the antidepressant nutrient profile because of their high levels of vitamin C, A and E," says Kelly.
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