Jenna's Top 10 Essential Foods for Mood Support

Jenna's Top 10 Essential Foods for Mood Support

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Jenna Hope
Nutritionist
  • Jamie Oliver
    Lovely Lentils Pouch


    Jenna Hope

    Lentils are a type of legumes that are a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is well known to be an important element for supporting muscle and nerve relaxation and as a result, can help support mental wellbeing when you’re feeling particularly stressed.

    I love these super easy pouches as they're so easy to use as a base for your meals or to be coupled with roasted veggies, a piece of fish or meat as a good protein source. They're also long life which is super helpful for the weeks when you don't have time to run to the shops!
  • Filippo Berio
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil


    Jenna Hope

    Olive oil is a really good source of healthy fats that we should be including in the diet. They’re needed for aiding the functioning of the brain so opt for fats found in olive and sunflower oils, avocados and nuts as opposed to those found in animal derived products which tend to be higher in saturated fats which can lead to nutrition related illnesses.

    I use this product when making homemade salad dressings or when roasting some veggies I lightly drizzle this on top before roasting with some seasoning.
  • Linwoods
    Milled Chia Seed


    Jenna Hope

    Chia seeds are one of my regular go tos! They're a great source of omega 3 fatty acids which are needed to aid brain functioning and reducing inflammation. As a result, omega-3 is particularly important in supporting mental wellbeing. 

    The omega-3 found in chia seeds is in the form of ALA, ALA needs to be converted into EPA and DHA in the body. Throughout the conversion process, some of the ALA can get lost and therefore as a result we require more omega-3. I recommend consuming 1-2 portions of plant omega-3 per day. 

    Personally, I love adding chia seeds to my porridge, overnight oats or even adding them into smoothies to ensure I’m getting a good source of omega-3 in my diet.
  • Green & Black's
    Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Bar


    Jenna Hope

    Cocoa is rich in an antioxidant called flavanols. Flavanols are key to supporting brain function and improved blood flow. We also experience a lift in our mood when consuming this food due to the production of endorphins, which are associated with making you feel happy. 

    The higher the % of cocoa the more available the flavanols are, so try to aim for 70% or higher. Chocolate often gets a bad rap but there is definitely a place for it in the diet! I love snacking on it with peanut butter or adding it into energy balls.
  • Tree of Life
    Whole Almonds


    Jenna Hope

    Almonds are a great source of iron and dietary fibre. Low levels of iron can lead to anaemia. which includes feelings of fatigue, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting adequate levels in your diet. Furthermore, the gut and the brain are connected via the gut brain axis. 

    We know that ensuring a healthy gut is pivotal to supporting mental wellbeing. Fibre is essential for a healthy gut! Therefore try to incorporate a wide variety of fibres into the diet. I love having these as a little snack throughout the day or adding them to my salads for that extra crunch!
  • Ryvita
    Thins Multi-Seed


    Jenna Hope

    These are a good source of dietary fibre which when coupled with some avocado makes a perfect snack. The avocado provides healthy fats that aids in brain function and the fibre is good for helping control blood sugar levels. 

    When blood sugar levels cause spikes and crash, it can contribute to impaired mood, stress, anxiety and irritability. These are good nutritious snacks to have in the afternoon, whilst being a great way of adding more fibre in the diet helping me hit that 30 g/day recommendation.
  • Cathedral City
    Mature Cheddar


    Jenna Hope

    Cheese provides a source of vitamin B12. Low levels of vitamin B12 have been associated with low mood. Although cheese should be consumed in moderation as very high intakes can contribute to high intakes of salt and saturated fats. 

    Therefore try to limit your intake to no more than 1 portion per day. I recommend adding cheese to pasta or having it as a snack with oatcakes. Cheese is also a great source of calcium which is important for supporting bone health.
  • John West
    Infusions No Drain Tuna Basil


    Jenna Hope

    This is one of my go to's for lunch. Tuna contains magnesium which plays an important role in mental wellbeing, muscle and nerve relaxation and sleep. In fact, it's crucial for over 600 processes in the body and so it's really pivotal that we are consuming enough.

    I love canned tuna as it's a really good way to get some protein and magnesium in. This is particularly delicious as it's combined with basil, which is one of my favourite herbs. It's perfect for spicing up any salad or pasta dish!
  • Nairns
    Gluten Free Cracked Black Pepper Crackers


    Jenna Hope

    These oatcakes are a source of tryptophan which is an amino acid (a building block of protein) and is required for the production of the happy hormone serotonin. I love snacking on these in the afternoon or serving them with smashed avocado and eggs too. 

    The black pepper really adds an extra zing to these oatcakes, but if you're not a fan there are the plain ones too! You can also serve these with hummus as a pre-dinner nibble when you have guests round too!
  • Cauldron
    Original Tofu


    Jenna Hope

    Tofu is another source of omega-3 which is required to help reduce inflammation and support optimal brain function. It's really key for supporting mood too. 

    I tend to opt for unflavoured tofu as it can be more versatile that way. I often sautee it and add it to stir frys or blend it up with banana, honey and cinnamon as a pudding. Honestly, don't judge until you've tried it, it's so delicious! I particularly love this tofu as it's set with calcium which means that it contains more calcium to support heart health, bone health and muscle function too!

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