Give yourself a boost with this eclectic mix of mood-enhancing foods
Chilli and spicy foods trigger the body’s defence mechanism against the intense burst of heat, thus releasing endorphins. These are neurochemicals which reduce pain and boost pleasure. Therefore, when you eat foods with ingredients such as chilli peppers, your body fights the pain and gives you a pleasure rush.
2 Mozzarella cheese
Mozzarella cheese is a surprising feel-good food due to its vitamin D content, and this is well documented to help the body to regulate mood and defend against depression.
Additionally, the cheese contains tryptophan, which has been linked to brain function, and serotonin. Therefore, it helps to boost your mood and improves your cognitive ability.
3 Dark chocolate
One of the biggest selling points of dark chocolate as a feel-good food is the tested link between the cocoa-rich snack and improving heart health. In terms of mood, it has also been shown to stimulate the area of the brain responsible for pleasure and, consequently, this can lower stress levels.
To get the most impact from the chocolate, moderate your consumption throughout the day and opt for a bar with a higher percentage of cacao solids.
Another feel-good food is hummus; however, you do need to check the ingredients in processed hummus. When made in a traditional method – combining chickpeas with extra virgin olive oil, tahini, garlic and lemon – it can be a great option, full of anti-inflammatory ingredients. In this form, hummus is a source of steady energy, with healthy fats inside that slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and help the body to avoid erratic blood sugar spikes.
The next surprising entry is beef. The meat is rich in zinc, iron and vitamin B which create a range of body benefits from boosting your immune system to keeping muscles healthy. In order to consume beef in a healthy way, opt for leaner cuts of beef such as flank steak and in moderation – a maximum of 70g per day.
6 Brown rice
The healthier alternative is growing in popularity and it could be because of the levels of vitamin B, which help to keep your nervous system functioning properly.
An additional benefit of brown rice is the presence of selenium which acts as an antioxidant in the body.
No longer considered just a cinema snack, popcorn is becoming more popular on supermarket shelves as a healthy snack alternative. It is high in fibre, which creates a steady release of energy for your body, and as an added bonus the hull contains polyphenols which can improve digestion issues and aid weight management.
This article was provided by Kinetica Sports, produced for www.bristol247.com