January 8, 2024 • Food5 min read

Beyond Blue Monday: Positive Actions for January | Just Eat for Business

As January rolls in, so does "Blue Monday," a term used to describe the supposed most depressing day of the year. Read on to find out what foods we should include in our work lunches to help boost our mood and feel our best throughout January and beyond.

Did you know that the concept of Blue Monday was reportedly thought up by a psychologist in 2004, who was asked to do so by Sky Travel, who then used the phrase to promote their winter deals?

It's become a day associated with feelings of sadness and post-festive blues. Instead of succumbing to the gloom, let's look at how we can break away from this narrative and enhance our wellbeing at work. Rather than attributing our mood to a specific date, it's more productive to focus on actionable steps we can take to make January a more positive month overall. From making an effort to eat healthier to cultivating a work environment that encourages breaks, there are plenty of ways to beat the January slump.

Want to know how to perk yourself up? Good news: The answer could lie in your office breakfast and team lunch . Read on to find out more!

We know that food can evoke emotions and act as a comfort, but it can also play a part in boosting our moods. This is known as the gut-brain axis, which you can read more about here

In winter, it’s a great idea to support your immune system with a range of different foods. If you’re looking for a Vitamin C hit, citrus fruits, red peppers and tomatoes are your friends. It's a great way to boost your immune system with antioxidants. We usually get our Vitamin D from the sun, but when that’s in short supply, foods like salmon, mushrooms and eggs are all good sources of Vitamin D too. Salmon is also a good source of Omega 3, so it’s a total powerhouse! 

Vitamin B6 is crucial for converting tryptophan into serotonin, which plays a starring role in helping you improve your mood, your ability to learn new things and your appetite, so it’s important to include it in your diet wherever you can. You can find it in poultry, beef and leafy greens like spinach and kale. But it doesn’t stop there with spinach and kale - folic acid (which supports serotonin levels in the brain) and magnesium can also be found in these leafy greens! 

Supporting your gut health (and that gut-brain axis!) with probiotics can really help boost your mood. Probiotics are often known as “good bacteria” which reside in our intestines and help with digestion, boosting the immune system and cleaning the gut. Fermented foods contain probiotics, like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi .

And finally… dark chocolate! It's not like we ever needed any extra encouragement to snack on some chocolate, but it helps to raise endorphins and can ease emotional stress. Tip: try and go with 70% dark chocolate or above to reap those benefits.

If you're in the need for a mood-booster, check out all our tasty lunch options via the link below. 

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