A full-fledged chef has revealed the 10 ingredients to pave your way to a better mood – including paprika for happy hormones and rosemary to ease anxiety.
Sydney nutrition coach Lee Holmes said that chocolates, chips and fast food can give you an instant boost – but it’s only temporary, requiring you to reach for another sugar liquid, a cycle that leads to overeating.
But there are foods you can eat that produce long-lasting feel-good hormones.
Here, the founder of Supercharged Food shared the ultimate guide to boosting your mood instantly with the right ingredients.
Nutrition coach Lee Holmes (pictured) has revealed the 10 mood-boosting ingredients to eat
The 10 mood-boosting ingredients to eat
6. Fatty fish
10. Chai tea
Bell peppers are packed with all kinds of mood-supporting goodness, namely because they are high in vitamin C.
Peppers are full of vitamin C (even more so than oranges) which help hormone synthesis and produce happy hormones. The higher the concentration of vitamins in our food, the greater the impact on our mood, ”Lee explained in her latest blog post.
She pointed out that the vegetable can also boost immunity.
High in omega-3s, Lee said flaxseeds help balance hormones, produce energy and prevent foggy brains.
She often sprinkles flaxseeds on her eggs, makes a flaxseed crust with fried fish, or grinds them to put on her porridge.
Lee pointed out that rosemary has been used in herbal medicine for centuries because it helps relieve stress and boost immunity.
“It’s the perfect spice to add to your meals,” she said, adding that she usually uses rosemary in her thyme chicken stew.
Packed with vitamin B1, Lee said oats help produce energy, seal the gut lining, and reduce inflammation.
Lee pointed out that rosemary has been used in herbal medicine for centuries because it helps relieve stress and boost immunity (stock image)
Cocoa has been found to increase the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, giving us a sense of pleasure and happiness and lowering our stress level.
Lee said the raw ingredient is also high in iron, magnesium and calcium.
She explained that cocoa is best consumed as chocolate, whether it is 70 percent cocoa or raw.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, are great for the brain because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and boost dopamine and serotonin levels.
“Dopamine is a” reward “that the brain releases in response to pleasurable experiences, such as eating,” she said.
High in omega-3 fatty acids, Lee said flaxseeds help balance hormones, produce energy and avoid foggy brains (stock image)
Avocados are packed with tyrosine, a precursor that helps the body produce dopamine – known as the brain’s pleasure center.
“Avocados are a natural hormone booster, and they also help us absorb the nutrients we eat, especially fat-soluble vitamins,” she said.
Lee explained that lentils are a ‘slow-digesting carbohydrate’ that help boost our serotonin levels and ‘keep everything running smoothly on our insides’.
“Lentils are a low-calorie, nutrient-packed legume with a nutty and earthy flavor,” she said.
Bell peppers are packed with all kinds of mood-supporting goodness, namely because they contain a high content of vitamin C (stock image)
Lee said another mood-boosting spice is saffron, which has been proven to help relive PMS symptoms such as mood swings and depression.
“The antidepressant effects have even been compared to common antidepressants like Prozac,” she claimed.
“Researchers think the herb helps produce the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin and makes it more available to the brain.”
Chai tea contains many health benefits such as increasing serotonin levels in the brain, improving metabolism, preventing bloating and boosting immunity.
“Chai uses a blend of herbs that promote happiness and I’m almost certain a cup of chai tea can make it all,” she said.
Lee suggested drinking the ‘real stuff’ and avoiding the powdered or syrup versions.