Nutrition: foods to banish bad moods / boost energy

A scrapbook posting today – nuggets from a useful article in a recent Zest magazine. Yes, you’ve guessed it – I’m back to decluttering my study of bits of paper ….


Caffeine – breaking a caffeine hit is good (as anyone who saw me at last night’s ‘Hollywood Quiz’ could testify..) – “it can make you jittery, … anxious and emotional… over-stimulates your heart and increases your metabolism, putting stress on your body ” (well, last night was a combination of being fuelled by 3 Diet Cokes and far too much of a competitive spirit, but nontehtless).

Tryptophan (amino acid) increases serotonin (natural sedative) and helps regulate appetite and lift mood. (Just wondering now whether this is in any way linked to feeling tired and sleepy like a cat sunbathing when it gets nice and warm and sunshine-y?). Tryptophan and carbs apparently get the best results as the sugar in carbs helps the process along – milk and honey works if you like either of those (I don’t) – poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils all also good for tryptophan.

Vit B6 boosts serotonin also (e.g. banana – so another ‘yuck’ from me).

Folic acid and vit B12 deficiency can also lead to low mood and low energy – so green leafy veg, eggs, asparagus, peas, lentils etc. and then meat and fish for B12.

And finally, the magic ingredient (which we all knew was there, surely?) in a couple of squares of dark (70%+) choc is phenylethylamine – a natural antidepressant.

Science-y post now over.