Feel better this Summer with these easy Mood Boosting Tips from Heather Leeson, Nutritional Therapist with Glenville Nutrition
Get the basics right to feel your best
- Try to get some exercise, ideally outside in morning. Light hitting the back of the eye earlier in the day can help production of the sleep hormone melatonin later in the day to support better sleep.
- Stay well hydrated. Our brain needs water to function properly, and many studies show how even being slightly underhydrated can have a negative effect on mood and concentration. Most of us don’t drink enough water, so top yourself up throughout the day.
- The Mediterranean diet has been shown in studies to support mood and stress resilience. Not pizza and pasta but the more traditional Mediterranean diet – lots of colourful veg, fruit, pulses and healthy fats.
Eat healthy fat for your brain
- Most of our brain (over 60%) is made up of fat, especially Omega 3 fatty acids. As a result, fish oil and the associated Omega 3s are vital for a healthy mind. Omega 3 makes it easier for serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps with mood, appetite and sleep) to pass through the membranes of our brain cells .
- Our best source of omega 3 is oily fish: salmon (ideally wild or organic), mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring. Aim to eat a portion 3 times per week to get enough omega 3. If you don’t eat fish, plant-based sources include pumpkin, hemp, chia and ground linseeds and walnuts. 1 – 2 portions daily to get enough.
- If you, like the vast majority of Irish people are not eating enough fish, you should consider an omega 3 supplement and there are lots of great products available via Horanshealth.ie.
Eskimo brain 369 is a great option
This award winning and high strength product is available in both liquid and capsules. You can take the liquid off the spoon or added to your yoghurt, smoothie, porridge, salad dressing….. All Eskimo-3 products are certified Friend of the Sea and only use sustainable fish supplies of wild anchovies, sardines and mackerel. Another great bonus – all the fish oils they use are in the natural triglyceride form for easy absorption and digestion.
Mind your gut – your second brain
- Having a healthy gut and in particular a diverse and plentiful microbiome plays an important role in mood. More than 90% of serotonin, our feel-good hormone is produced in the gut.
- For optimal gut health we need to eat a diet rich in prebiotics: Veg, fruit, pulses, wholegrains, nuts and seeds to provide food for beneficial bacteria
- We should also be eating some fermented food, a natural source of beneficial bacteria. Good food sources include natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, providing beneficial bacteria. If you are new to fermented food, introduce them in small amounts to start with as they cause bloating initially.
- Of course, you can find lots of great probiotic supplements on Horanshealth.ie If you are not sure which one to take, call in store where Horan’s trained staff can help you make the best choice.
Some gut friendly food ideas:
Breakfast: Natural yoghurt with fresh berries and low sugar granola
Snack: An apple and palmful walnuts – providing prebiotic fuel for your microbiome
Lunch: Mixed salad with a slice of wholegrain rye bread and a tablespoon of sauerkraut
Dinner: Salmon and veg stir-fry with wholegrain rice, topped with a teaspoon of miso paste
Precision Biotics Zenflore – backed by science
Zenflore is a good probiotic to try for a mood boost. This probiotic was formulated in partnership with scientists from one of the world’s leading centres in research on the microbiome, based in Cork, who put science at the heart of each of their products. The bacteria in Zenflore (1714-Serenitas) have been clinically studied, showing positive brain function and increased ability to cope. They target the Gut Brain Axis and improve your stress response. Zenflore also contains b vitamins for an extra energy boost.
B vitamins for stress support
- We use B vitamins to make stress hormones, which is why we can have a higher requirement when busy or under stress. A large review of studies in 2019 showed that B vitamin supplementation is helpful for stress, especially in populations at risk of nutrient deficiencies and those with poor mood
- The B vitamin family contains many different vitamins, found in lots of different foods. Good sources include meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products, legumes and wholegrains
- Vegans or those who don’t eat much meat can run the risk of a B12 deficiency. Non-meat sources are nutritional yeast and yeast extract like marmite. But vegans or people eating limited amounts of animal-based foods may need to take a supplement. If supplementing, it’s best to take in a complex rather than just singly as b vitamins work together.
Macanta Nutrition B Complex +
Macanta means honest in Irish, and Macanta’s products are just that – very pure and great quality. This B Complex includes the full spectrum of B Vitamins, great to help reduce fatigue and support a healthy nervous system. It also includes vitamin C, another nutrient beneficial for stress and immune support.
Higher Nature Balance for Nerves
Balance for nerves is an ideal to take when you are feeling overwhelmed and can be used day or night. In addition to magnesium, which supports the nervous system and mind it also includes lemon balm and passionflower extracts – botanical support to help reduce stress and boost mood. This gentle product is suitable for children from six years old and is a non-addictive and non-drowsy formula.
Aspire2 Mental Performance
Aspire 2 is another young Irish company with great science-backed products. In addition to B vitamins, their Mental Performance supplement contains several botanicals to support stress response, including Ashwaghanda, shown in studies to reduce anxiety and insomnia. This helpful formula also contains Siberian Ginseng, an adaptagenic herb recognised by the EU as having well established use for the treatment of mental and physical fatigue.
All products are available through Horan’s Health stores nationwide or online at horanshealth.ie