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!
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.
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.
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.
I sometimes find that a break from grain-based carbs give me an energy boost if I'm feeling low and lethargic. Complex carbs are great, but the superior ones within that are vegetables and sweet potatoes, not wholemeal bread.
I agree Lucy, I am just getting a bit bombarded with the whole veganism thing everywhere and it will be nice to have to not listen to everyone (ladies mostly!) talking about their plant-based lunches all the time!
I don't know if it is veganism or just excessive dieting, but I cannot wait for January to be over and for my office mates to start eating again. It is SO grumpy there!!
My recommendation - lots of hearty soups. They are comforting and nutritious. Add some wholemeal bread and butter and there's lunch that makes me very happy!
If salmon, chicken and eggs are the main foods that contain trytophan, vegans must be a grumpy bunch!
not quite sure that croissants and sugared rolls are what the article means - but yes, here's to good carbs!