My top tips to boost your mood and energy levels – the natural way
Have you started off the new year with a bang or are you feeling blue?
It is not unusual to feel tired, low and lacking in energy at this time of year.
Find our how you can beat the blues the natural way in todays blog:
1: Food for your mood
Get your new year off to a healthy start by focussing on good nutrition. Eating well can boost our mood and our energy levels as well as helping to keep our bodies healthy.
Load up on the Omega-3 rich foods. Scientific studies have shown foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to be beneficial for our hearts but it turns out that what’s good for our hearts is also good for our brains. Boost your mood and your concentration with omega-3 rich foods that will feed your brain cells and also help to keep your nerve fibres healthy.
The foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids include seafood, especially tuna, salmon and mackerel, as well as walnuts, canola oil, and flax seed.
Because sugary foods flood the body with glucose and cause hyperactivity in the process, these vitamins moderate the release of glucose and provide a more balanced energy supply.
Boosts the B vitamins – Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine is an essential nutrient for the central nervous system. Vitamin B6 is needed in the body for the production of certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency include irritability, short attention spans and short term memory loss. Vitamin B6 is naturally found in brown rice, legumes, whole grains and meats.
Vitamin B12 or Cyanocobalamin is another brain boosting nutrient. Supplementation with the vitamin helps improve focus and mood. Along with Vitamin B6 and B9, cyanocobalamin is needed in the body for synthesising and regulating neurotransmitters.
Other B Vitamins – Vitamin B3 or niacin is important for general metabolism and to improve the absorption of essential minerals and vitamins from the gastrointestinal tract.
Vitamin A is an important nutrient for healthy vision are nerve function.It binds to the rods and cones of the eyes where it is responsible for capturing light and triggering signals in the optic nerve.
Food Source: Eat plenty of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables.
Tocopherols ( vitamin E) – vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which is essential for mopping up harmful free radicals in the body. In this way, they are also protective and can prevent structural damages in the neurons of the central nervous system.
Food Source: Sunflower seeds, avocados, spinach, kale and collard Greens. Nuts such as almonds and some other nut varieties also contain vitamin E. Fruits like papaya and kiwi are sources of vitamin E.
Vitamin E is also important for eye health. Its deficiency can lead to retinopathy, an eye disease.
2: Get outdoors
Lack of daylight can reduce our Vitamin D levels and a deficiency in vitamin D is thought to have an impact on our mood. Known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods, including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks and it can also be found in fortified dairy and grain products.
Vitamin D is known to improve the concentration of glutathione in the brain. Glutathione is an antioxidant useful for counteracting harmful free radicals in the central nervous system. Its protective action prevents damage to the neurons and helps in maintaining brain health.
Vitamin D is also needed for the productions of brain chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine and acetylcholine. These brain chemicals are known to improve and increase attention span, and its concentration in the brain is directly correlated with the ability to focus for sustained periods of time.
3: Get moving
Not only is exercise great for keeping our hearts strong and our weight healthy but we also know that when we exercise we produce increased levels of endorphins and serotonin ( happy hormones) which improves our mood and energy levels.
Aim to do some form of exercise 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. This doesn’t have to mean a work out in a gym either. A brisk walk, gardening, dancing, getting off the bus or tube stop early and walking the rest of the way all count as exercise
4: Sleep well
If you have poor sleep, you may be tired in the daytime, have reduced concentration, become irritable, or just not function well. If the insomnia continues it can increase the risk of developing conditions including diabetes, depression, high blood pressure and strokes.
- Boost your sleep by cutting out the caffeine – do not have any food, medicines, or drinks that contain caffeine or other stimulants for six hours before bedtime. Some people have found that cutting out caffeine completely helps.
- Banish The Cigarettes: Do not smoke within six hours before bedtime.
- Bin the Booze: Ideally try not to drink alcohol within six hours before bedtime.
- No Late Night Feasts: Do not have a heavy meal just before bedtime (although a light snack may be helpful).
- Exercise helps but not late at night:Do not do any strenuous exercise within four hours of bedtime. This may increase the amount of adrenaline your body produces, making it difficult to get to sleep.
- Get Into a Rhythm: Control your Body’s Sleep rhythm – try to get into a daily routine to establish a sleep pattern. Going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning, even at weekends can help. The body becomes used to rhythms or routines. If you keep to a pattern, you are more likely to sleep well.
- No matter how tired you are, do not sleep or nap during the day.
5: Get a Health Check
A Health check or Health MOT is a great way to start the new year. Not only does it help to motivate you to start the year off on a good foot but it is also a good opportunity to ensure that your body is healthy. Most health checks include assessments such as body composition measurements to assess your body fat, muscle and hydration levels, blood tests to check your immune system, liver, kidneys, thyroid gland etc. They usually screen for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and so on. It is also a good opportunity to review your diet and lifestyle factors with a doctor and ensure that you have advice about how to keep yourself happy and healthy in the year ahead.
For more information about health checks visit my clinic website www.nuriss.co.uk