The notion of blue monday was created in 2005 when Cliff Arnall, as part of a Sky Travel advertising campaign, created a formula to find out what the saddest day of the year was.
The formula led to the conclusion that the third Monday in January is the saddest day, and it became known as Blue Monday. This calculation takes into account different variables such as the weather, debts and money available on that date; however, no scientific research fully proves this.
How does food affect mood?
To combat this state of mind that seems to take hold of the third Monday of January, there are different means, from personal growth exercises to positive psychology strategies. For his part, heEating also affects mood, but it’s an easier variable to control.
In fact, there are foods that can help release serotonin and oxytocin, the two neurotransmitters responsible for feeling happy. According to International Journal of Gastronomy and Food ScienceEating foods rich in omega 3s not only directly benefits the brain, but they have also been linked to reducing depression. Among these foods, you will find salmon, nuts and tofu.
In addition, these foods rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acid in the human diet, help improve the production of neurotransmitters. To consume this amino acid, you can resort to foods such as chocolate, oats, dates and nuts, especially sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
The same source explains that complex carbohydrates are the best way to activate serotonin production without affecting blood sugar. This means that green vegetables and whole grains like oats also help improve mood.
Considering the above, Cocina Semana shares three recipes to include the types of foods that can help increase serotonin and oxytocin levels:
Salmon toast to consume omega-3s
This fish has a high content of omega 3, this type of polyunsaturated fat is necessary to strengthen neurons, maintain a healthy heart and reduce the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and calcium in the arteries. In addition, the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) claims that salmon consumption provides protein, monounsaturated and unsaturated fatty acids, iodine, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamins B6, B12, D and E, thiamin and niacin.
- 1 fillet of salmon.
- ½ pear.
- ½ avocado.
- ½ red onion.
- 1 radish.
- 1 slice of wholemeal bread.
- 3 tablespoons of cream cheese.
- To taste: capers, basil, coriander, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and sesame oil.
Preparation: (see the video)
How to use dates to increase serotonin?
Dates are the fruit of a Phoenix type palm and are rich in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and fiber. Thanks to these minerals, eating dates helps regulate the digestive system and the nervous system. They also have a high content of natural sugars that balance the flavor of desserts without the need to resort to traditional sweeteners, that is, they are ideal for replacing sugar.
- 100 grams of carrot.
- 75 grams of dates.
- 50 grams of almond flour.
- 15 grams of flax seeds.
- 30 grams of walnuts.
- 250 grams of white chocolate without added sugar.
Preparation: watch the video.
Oatmeal to increase happiness
For its part, oats are a cereal that provides calcium, potassium, iodine, iron and magnesium to the diet. These nutrients and vitamins help maintain good bone health and can help prevent thyroid problems.
Ingredients for the granola:
- 2 cups rolled oats.
- 1 cup of nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews.
- ½ cup of seeds: sesame, chia and quinoa.
- To accompany: ½ cup of dehydrated fruit and chocolate chips.
Preparation: (see the video)
It should be noted that the daily diet is not the only thing that has an impact on mood. A recent Harvard-funded study found that those who eat at night may have a 26% increase in symptoms of depression and a 16% increase in symptoms of anxiety. In other words, when food is eaten has an effect on people’s mental and emotional health.