January 17, 2022 • • 5 min read

Blue Monday: Foods to make you feel good | Just Eat for Business

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The third Monday in January has been dubbed Blue Monday as the cold weather, dark mornings and the countdown to the next holiday takes a toll on people - so if you're feeling a little low today, make sure to be kind to yourself.

For many people, the ‘new year, new me’ enthusiasm is diminishing fast and the prospect of cold, dark days is enough to make you want to crawl back into bed. Plus, due to the winter weather, many people might also feel the effects of a lack of sunlight and vitamin D, which can affect your energy levels and mood.

‘But how do I perk myself up?’ you might be thinking. The good news is that the answer might lie in your breakfast, lunch and dinner! 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

Read on below to find out what we should try and include in our daily diets to help us feel our best. 

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. Vitamin C binds with free radicals, allowing the body to more easily remove them, and is 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! (If you’re not a fan of fish, cod liver oil supplements do the same job.) 

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 may be an acquired taste for some, but it raises endorphins and can ease emotional stress - but you probably knew chocolate could do that already! Tip: try and go with 70% dark chocolate or above to reap those benefits.

So, if you want to help boost your mood this Blue Monday, why not treat yourself to some dark chocolate and have a nutritious salmon salad for your lunch? 😋