Carol Vorderman's top tips to beat the January Blues

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The post-festive slump can be hard to shake, with Christmas and New Year typically filled to the brim with friends, family, food and festivities. Come early January, an empty social calendar and looming workload can leave us all feeling a little glum.

But while the January blues are normal, it’s possible to boost your mood this month.

ICE Headshop and nutritionist Abi Roberts looked into which foods and drinks could have an impact on our mood.

What should you stock up on and what should you steer clear of this month?

Foods to avoid

Over the Christmas period, many of tend to indulge in lots of sweet treats such as cakes and pastries. Sausage rolls are also a firm favourite when it comes to Christmas parties.

However, according to nutritionist Abi, these might be making your mood slump this side of New Year.

Eating lots of processed foods can be harmful to your gut microbiome. These foods include things like sausage rolls, oven chips, crisps, cakes and breakfast cereals.

The expert explained: “The gut and brain communicate through complex signals, meaning if one of them is out of balance, it can impact the other. “Depression and anxiety have been heavily linked to an unhealthy gut microbiome.”

Drinks to avoid

Similarly to processed foods, drinks with a high sugar content can make the January blues feel a little bluer.

Abi explained: “Sugar acts as fuel for the bad bacteria in your gut, allowing them to thrive and repopulate, leaving less room for the good bacteria to grow. This can cause an unhealthy gut microbiome, sending skewed signals to the brain and lowering your mood.”

Fizzy drinks are usually full of sugar, so limiting your intake of these might be a good idea for some mood boosting.

It also might be worth minimising – or ditching – syrup-laden iced coffees and energy drinks.

Foods to boost your mood

In place of your sausage rolls, crisps and cookies, Omega-3 fatty acids are highly beneficial for energy levels.

These can be found in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and oysters.

A study conducted in New Zealand found that the consumption of fish was linked to an improved sense of emotional wellbeing.

For non-fish lovers, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and soybeans are also high in Omega-3s.

Drinks to boost your mood

Water is an absolute essential when it comes to staying healthy, and the NHS advises we drink between six to eight glasses of fluid (not just water).

As for drinks that alleviate lethargy and boost energy, the research points to three drinks. Matcha has a little more kick than a green tea, as it contains an amino-acid called L-Theanine which soothes the mind whilst still giving you an energy boost.

Kefir is also full of gut-boosting probiotics, and in turn a great mood booster. The expert explained that diversifying the gut microbiome means it can communicate correctly with the brain.

Lastly, you can make a delicious smoothie with the fruit already in your home, so there’s no need to worry about excess sugar. As well as rethinking your supermarket shop, there are plenty of other ways to combat a low mood in January.

Detoxing from social media, setting reasonable goals, making plans, spending time outside and talking to someone are all ways to beat the blues. For those who want to reach out to someone, there are plenty of options available, including your GP, the Samaritans or the ‘Shout’ crisis text line.

Source: Read Full Article