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With the 21st January, aka Blue Monday fast approaching, some of you might be feeling a little below per right now. It is cold outside, it’s still ages until payday and those resolutions that seemed like such a good idea on 31 December have been long forgotten, all of which can make you feel a bit miserable.
Fear not, it’s all doom and gloom. While can’t turn up the temperature or give you a winning lottery ticket, we do know that what you eat and drink can help ease the blues and beat the anxiety that makes life a little harder in the bleak mid-winter months.
Yes, this one again. If you don’t keep hydrated you won’t feel at your best, your concentration will lapse, you may get headaches and you might also feel constipated and none of these things will help your mood. Cut down on fizzy drinks and high sugar squashes, and instead drink water with ice and add slices of lemon and cucumber to liven things up a little and keep a bottle on your desk and in your bag so you can sip during the day.
Keep an eye on caffeine
We know many people love a coffee first thing and a tea break mid-afternoon, but both of these drinks contain caffeine which might not help you if you are feeling blue. Caffeine is a stimulant and one which will give you a burst of energy at first, but then when you come down the other side it could make you feel anxious, depressed and disturb your sleep, especially when drunk before you go to bed. We don’t suggest you stop having your daily fix suddenly, as this could lead to nasty withdrawal symptoms, but it might be a good idea to start cutting back on tea, coffee, chocolate, cola and energy drinks and think about switching to decaf versions or opting for herbal teas which are caffeine free but mean you don’t miss out on a soothing hot drink.
Look after your tummy
You might not know this, but your tummy reflects your emotions so if you are feeling anxious and worried, your gut may suffer too. To help with healthy digestion, it is important to eat plenty of fibre which means loading up on wholegrains, beans, pulses, live yoghurt and you might want to consider taking a probiotic too.
Get your fruit and veg in
Eating a variety of coloured fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of nutrients including the minerals, vitamins and fibre needed to keep you physically and mentally healthy. You might be interested to know that fresh, frozen, canned and juiced fruits and vegetables all count towards your five a day and if you are worried about portion sizes, one portion is about a handful.
Remember to eat protein
Protein is packed full of the amino acids that make up the chemicals your brain uses to regulate your thoughts and feelings, and it also keeps you feeling fuller for longer so you are less likely to reach for the mood interrupting sugary snacks later on. Lean meat, fish, eggs, cheese, beans, lentils, soya products, nuts and seeds are all good protein sources and it is pretty easy to fit them into every meal – so make sure you do.
Eat the right fats
We know we are told fats are bad and to be avoided at all costs, but this isn’t true. Try to avoid ‘trans fats’ or ‘partially hydrogenated oils’ and instead eat fatty acids, such as omega 3 and 6 as these are good for your brain function and mental health. Healthy fats can be found in oily fish, nuts (almonds and walnuts are a good choice), olive and sunflower oils, seeds (such as sunflower and pumpkin), avocados, and eggs all of which are tasty and easy to eat!
Eat on a regular basis
Now is not the time to skip meals as this will lead to a drop in your blood sugar levels and that can make you feel tired and irritable. Try to go for small, regular meals throughout the day, adding in healthy snacks, and always eat breakfast as this will set you up for the day. Wholegrain bread and pasta, brown rice, cereals as well as nuts and seeds are all a good idea but keep away from sweets, biscuits, sugary drinks, and alcohol as these won’t do your mood any favours.
Whatever you eat and drink make the sensible choice and we wish you a very happy, healthy 2019.
Team Pure Beauty