Hello darkness my old friend…daylight saving began last weekend and a staggering third of us in the UK report feeling down due to darker winter days. Research has shown that certain foods can help to boost our mood, so we’ve put together a list of mood boosting porridge toppings to ease your winter blues.
Packed with B9 and folic acid, cherries and dark berries are great mood enhancers. The folic acid they contain assists with the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain which helps to regulate our sleep cycle. If you can’t find fresh fruits so readily in the winter, frozen berries and cherries work just as well so add a handful to your bowl if you’re feeling low.
We always knew chocolate = happiness, but there’s some science to back it up too.
Dark chocolate helps to stimulate serotonin and endorphin production which can lift our mood and inhibit feelings of stress. The darker the choc the better, so grab a few squares of your favourite dark chocolate and stir it through your oats.
Go bananas with these on your porridge because they contain the amino acid tryptophan as well as vitamins A, B6 and C. The presence of the B6 helps to convert the tryptophan into serotonin in your brain which increases feelings of happiness.
The ‘happy-hormone’ vitamin D can play a vital role in our health, happiness and well-being. The main source of vitamin D is that absorbed from the sun through our skin, so when we have less sunlight and spend more time indoors, we can struggle to get enough of this mood boosting vitamin. You can find vitamin D in mushrooms and oily fish, but we can’t say we’ll be adding these to our oats anytime soon. Instead you could try making your porridge with our MOMA Oat Drinks which are fortified with Vitamin D. The NHS is now recommending taking supplements through winter too to make sure you aren’t deficient.
A lack of magnesium can lead to lethargy and insomnia so add magnesium rich Brazil nuts to your oats to fight fatigue. Adding nut butters to porridge is ALWAYS a good idea, and the mood enhancing amino acid tryptophan is found in almonds, pecans and walnuts so adding a good dollop of these to your bowl could also boost your mood…in case you weren’t already a nut butter nutter.