Earlier this year, I was absolutely thrilled to be invited on CBBC’s Newsround ‘Inside my Head’ programme with the wonderful Molly Rob, which aims to give young people an idea of what it’s like to suffer with anxiety from a young person’s perspective.
In the 30-minute programme, Molly uncovered the lifestyle factors that can improve mood; including advice on diet (that’s me!), activity (thanks to @thebodycoach), breathing, mindfulness & being out in nature.
We talked about how our diet can affect our mood and our mental well-being, including looking at some of the foods we should be eating in moderation, and some of the foods we should be encouraged to include more of as part of a healthy balanced diet. You can check out my interview with Molly all about food and mood in the YouTube video below!
Here are ten of my top tips on how to look after your mental health through your diet and lifestyle!
1. Regular meals (& snacks if needed) are important to sustain energy levels & mood over the day ☀️
2. Staying hydrated with water (or sugar free squash) is much better for your teeth than fizzy drinks & you’ll avoid sugar highs & lows 💦
3. Swap crisps for homemade popcorn which is a much more filling (& lower in salt) snack & is a wholegrain too; whole grains provide B vitamins which help our body to convert the food that we eat into fuel 🍿
4. Snacks such as banana & yoghurt, apple & cheese, cucumber & tzatziki or carrots & hummus provide slow release energy & are more satisfying in the long term than sweets 🍬
5. Get creative with your snacks; try nut butter on oat cakes make your own trail mix with nuts, dried fruit & small pieces of dark chocolate (Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium, a lack of which may increase the chances of low mood) 🍫
6. Don’t forget vitamin C, found in oranges as well as peppers (& most other fruit & veg!) which will help to keep pesky colds & flu at bay 🤧
7. Look at the ingredients list or traffic light label before you buy foods such as granola or cereal bars; choose ones that are based around oats, dried fruit and/or nuts as opposed to sugar or syrup 🥜
8. Remember to eat enough; children & teenagers need energy to fuel a growing & moving body 🏃🏻♀️
9. Eat more colourful & fibrous foods (& a little bit of what you fancy!) 🌈
10. Remember there are no good & bad foods; just good & bad diets.. it’s what you eat the most of the time that counts!
What foods and drinks help you feel better and improve your mood?