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Low mood and depression are common problems for many people of all ages.

If you struggle with feelings of depression, loss of motivation and enthusiasm, or if you have difficulty finding joy in everyday life it’s time to rethink your diet.

These foods provide you with the right nutrients or co factors the body needs to produce neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that give up a natural lift.

You are what you eat:Our diet and lifestyle can have a profound effect on our mood and research reveals there’s a direct link between what we eat and how we feel (file image)

Depression affects around one in 10 adults with estimates that up to 50 percent of the population will experience at least one episode of depression during their lives.

Mainstream medicine still relies upon psychoactive drugs that not only have a success rate of 50 percent or less but are fraught with potential side effects.

Current research suggests depression is actually linked to an array of underlying factors including inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, poor methylation and hormone imbalances.

By tackling these underlying imbalances you can improve overall brain health and boost mood too.

Fixing your brain starts with fixing your body. Optimising what you put in and taking out the negative influences is the first start

This is the basis of Functional Nutritionist and Chef Christine Bailey’ s new book The Brain Boost Diet.

Using evidence based research on brain health and proactive lifestyle and dietary changes you can make a profound difference to how you think and feel whatever your age.

If you’re looking to eat your way to happiness Christine has developed a three day Mood Boosting Diet to kick start a happier you.

6 healthy eating strategies to boost your mood

1. Avoid processed foods

Avoiding blood sugar imbalances is one of the quickest ways to notice an immediate improvement in mood.

This means ditching the refined sugary carbohydrates, white starch, fruit juices and sugary smoothies and instead basing your meals around lean proteins, healthy fats (like oily fish, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds) and plenty of antioxidant rich vegetables.

2. Stop being fat phobic

Around 60 percent of your brain is fat mostly comprised of phospholipids and omega 3 fats. Deprive your body of these healthy fats and your focus, concentration and mood will suffer.

Healthy fats are particularly beneficial to the brain and you can get your daily dose from three different oils olive oil, coconut oil, and omega 3 rich oils such as oily fish.

Extra virgin olive oil, which is a good source of polyphenols and monounsaturated fats helps protect the brain cells and lower inflammation.

Coconut oil is rich in special fats called MCT or medium chain triglycerides that can improve your brain function.

3. Drink green tea

If you’re feeling stressed, then grab a cup of green tea. Green tea contains potent antioxidants including catechins known to protect the brain as well as L theanine which has been shown to improve focus and concentration and lower the stress response.

4. Eat vitamin D rich foods

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with low mood and depression. It is difficult to get sufficient vitamin D in the winter as the main source is sunlight. It is found in small amounts in mushrooms, liver, egg yolks, full fat dairy and oily fish but you may need to take a supplement over the winter.
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