Who doesn’t want a recipe that goes into the oven and comes out perfect? No fuss. Limited washing up. Better still when it’s loaded with protein, prebiotic vegetables and mood-boosting foods!

Our moods are largely impacted by the food that we eat.

The affect a meal has, can be the difference between brain fog, mood disorders, sugar crashes, fatigue and focused, relaxed calm. When we’re talking moods, at the core we’re talking neurotransmitters. These are chemicals that our bodies produce and help relay both messages and actions between various body systems.

To date, over 50 different neurotransmitters have been identified in humans and at the top of that list when it comes to mood regulation is one that many of us are familiar with; serotonin.

Whilst serotonin is present in some foods, e.g. raw cacao, it’s true power in the body lies in its ability to be produced from tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in various foods including chia seeds, soy beans, cheese, meat, fish, oats, lentils and eggs.

However, this conversion to serotonin requires a number of nutrients including Vitamins C, B3, B6, B9, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Melatonin, another neurotransmitter that regulates our sleep and moods, is created by going a step further and converting from serotonin with the assistance of darkness and particular enzymes.

Our so-called second brain is where roughly 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin is made and it’s location is our gut.

How?

Because our incredibly clever gut bacteria (in addition to lots of other cool functions), produces hundreds of neurochemicals/neurotransmitters that the brain uses to regulate many physiological processes in the body, including mood.

Our so-called second brain is where roughly 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin is made and it’s location is our gut.

 

Mushroom, Leek & Cheddar Frittata | Nadia Felsch
Mushroom, Leek & Cheddar Frittata | Nadia Felsch

 

The key to mood boosting through food is tryptophan and complex carbs.

Tryptophan, when supported by the required nutrient co-factors, will produce both serotonin and melatonin, allowing positive mood regulation in the body.
Whilst complex carbohydrates such as oats, sweet potato, pumpkin and wholegrains, help to consistently and evenly feed the brain its sole source of energy in the form of glucose whilst avoiding the sugar highs, lows and resulting crashes from consuming excessive simple sugars found in refined foods.

Fibre and natural probiotics will also help support your gut bacteria, further assisting positive neurochemical production and mood regulation.
Natural Greek yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi are great probiotic options to include as well as high-fibre foods such as oats, chia seeds, psyllium husk, fruit and vegetables – such as the prebiotic leek found in this recipe!

Tryptophan, when supported by the required nutrient co-factors, will produce both serotonin and melatonin, allowing positive mood regulation in the body.

Conversely avoiding preservatives and refined foods such as artificial sweeteners, white flour, trans fats and also too much coffee or alcohol will help to avoid brain fog, mood disorders, sugar crashes, fatigue and crankiness.

Overall, and as with almost everything, we want a balanced and varied diet rich in all the nutrients our bodies need. This way, when we eat tryptophan-rich foods, we’ll have the necessary co-factors such as zinc and Vitamin B3 to make the conversion to serotonin.

And whilst the food we eat indeed affects our mood, so does the quality of sleep we’re getting and the environment we’re in. It’s a whole picture!

 


MOOD FOOD AT A GLANCE

• Include tryptophan-rich foods such as chia seeds, soy beans, cheese, meat, fish, oats, lentils and eggs
• Up your fibre to naturally support good gut bacteria and serotonin production
• Avoid artificial food such as fake sweeteners and refined food as they can create mood crashes, fatigue and even mood disorders
• Don’t rely on caffeine as there are consequences including raised blood pressure
• Keep it varied and enjoy a balanced diet to ensure you’re getting all that you need to positively regulate your moods

 

V-GF
Mushroom, Leek & Cheddar Frittata
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
yield: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 leek, white part only
  • 100g button mushrooms
  • ½ bunch shallots
  • 100g cherry tomatoes (½ punnet)
  • 40g cheddar cheese (½ cup)
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup traditional sauerkraut
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 150°C (electric)
  2. Wash all vegetables
  3. Finely slice leek and shallots
  4. Finely chop mushrooms
  5. Heat oven-proof pan on medium-high heat
  6. Add oil and coat pan well
  7. Once hot add leek and shallots (white part only)
  8. Cook for a few minutes until starting to brown
  9. Add mushrooms, cook for a few minutes and remove from heat
  10. Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl and combine with milk
  11. Add remaining ingredients including green shallots
  12. Add egg mixture to pan
  13. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes or until set
  14. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly
  15. Cut frittata into serves and divide onto plates, topping with sauerkraut

 If you’re finding that your moods are low despite including all of the above foods in a varied diet, it’s recommended that you seek a qualified nutritionist to work with one-on-one.

I am available for consultation until May 2018. Contact me here.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Tagged with →