Did you know eating Brazil nuts and broccoli can put you in a better mood?

With stress and anxiety being an issue for more than a quarter of Australians, food choices can play an important role in mental and physical health – creating either anxiety or calmness.

“After eating sugary foods or refined carbohydrates, blood sugar levels can rise rapidly, which may cause feelings of stress and anxiety, only to crash soon after, which can then leave us feeling lethargic or in low spirits,” explains Nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker.

Schenker says fluctuations in blood sugar levels are usually associated with what we eat and drink, but can also be caused by changes in mood and energy. By choosing certain nutritious foods this can help control your appetite and reduce cravings for sugary and fatty snacks.

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Rich in omega-3, salmon also tops the list for lifting your mood! Try this steak recipe

Having a diet comprised of the right amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and water, can help people have a more positive mood and an increased sense of wellbeing.

“Low GI foods contain carbohydrates that release energy slowly, keeping blood sugar levels steady and maintaining a more balanced, calm mood,” says Schenker.

From salmon – with its Omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for good mental health – to pumpkin seeds which are rich in tryptophan and helps with mood-regulation, these foods are not only food physical health but your mental health too.

Other foods are scientifically proven to lift your mood and improve your energy levels. Below are the top 22 'best mood' foods:

Chia Seeds
Dark Chocolate
Chicken & Turkey
Brazil Nuts

Simple ways food can boost your mood

Brazil nuts: Selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts help combat depression and studies have shown that eating a small handful of Brazil nuts each day can help improve mood. So, eat some between meals or, chop up and sprinkle on yoghurt.

Wholegrain basmati: Basmati rice is the perfect low GI food to keep your energy levels balanced throughout the day – enjoy the staple with curries, stews and pilafs.

Broccoli: These green leafy vegetables are amongst the richest sources of B vitamins – which are essential for healthy moods. Serve steamed broccoli with fish or chicken fillets, or use in omelettes and risottos.

Perfect for an on-the-go snack, why not make this sweet potato and broccoli frittata?

To find out more about how the food you eat can affect your mood, how goods can trigger feel-good chemicals in the brain and how to naturally improve your relationship with food, download Tilda's free Mood Food Manual.

Do you find certain foods make you feel better or worse? Join the conversation below.

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