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EAT YOUR WINTER MOOD AWAY WITH COMPLEX CARBS

EAT YOUR WINTER MOOD AWAY WITH COMPLEX CARBS

Dark evenings, cold damp mornings and the endless winter. Easter eggs may already be in the shops but Spring still feels a long way off.

We all need ammo against the winter blues. Fresh air and exercise are a good start. A healthy diet is even better. It’s time to bring on the complex carbs!

WHY DOES FOOD AFFECT MOOD?

Most of us know that hungry equals grumpy. A lot of that is due to low blood sugar. Trouble is, a quick sugar boost in a chocolate bar or bag of sweets is only a temporary fix. These simple sugars go quickly into your blood stream, but then whizz out again just as fast. What you need is stable blood sugar, plus those feel good brain chemicals.

WHAT CAN COMPLEX CARBS DO FOR MOOD?

The magic ingredient is called tryptophan. This is an amino acid that helps the brain to make serotonin, the main mood boosting chemical. It is found in foods such as salmon, chicken, eggs and dark green veg.

Complex carbs don’t supply tryptophan, but they do have an effect on insulin levels in the body. This in turn allows more tryptophan from other foods to reach the brain, in preference to other amino acids. More tryptophan means more serotonin and up goes the happiness level.

BUT AREN’T CARBS BAD?

No food is bad in itself. You may want to go easy on the sugary treats, but don’t throw the complex carb baby out with the bathwater.  Load up on wholegrains, vegetables, pulses and beans, plus some fresh fruit.

Eat your carbs and boost your mood. A perfect recipe for a happier winter.

Photo by Rhett Noonan on Unsplash

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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