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Food & Mood

By Marley Spoon
4 Lessons
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About this course

You want to know which foods can influence your mood? Then this course is for you! Learn to distinguish between 'good mood foods' that bring out the best in you and 'trigger foods' that can have a negative impact on your mood, while understanding the concept of 'mindful eating'.

From the author

Diet & Mental Health Developed by Marley Spoon, this course is designed to explore our brain-gut connection, which refers to the communication between our central nervous system and the enteric nervous system that connects cognitive and digestive behaviour. In this course, you will learn about certain "good mood foods" that can bring out the best in you and "trigger foods" that can have a negative impact on your mental health. Take this course to keep your gut healthy and your mind happy!

What you will learn

  • Why we talk about "Food & Mood"
  • How brain & gut are connected
  • How to improve your mood with diet
  • How to manage your intake of "trigger foods"
  • How to eat more mindfully
  • How caffeine, sugar and alcohol can affect our health & wellbeing
  • Which micronutrients have a positive effect on brain health and function

Food & Mood Lessons

Click through the microlessons below to preview this course. Each lesson is designed to deliver engaging and effective learning to your team in only minutes.

  1. Introduction
  2. Good Mood Foods
  3. Trigger Foods
  4. Mindful Eating
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Follow the interactions on each screen or click the arrows to navigate between lesson slides.

Food & Mood course excerpts


In this lesson you will learn why "food & mood" is such an important topic, how brain and gut are connected and how to improve your mood with diet.

Food & Mood Course - Lesson Excerpt

Food & Mood

We know there is a clear association between diet and mental health, especially depression.

We also know that a great part of the world's population struggles to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating.

.. could there be a link?

These sensations emanating from your belly suggest that your brain and gut are connected.

What’s more, recent studies show that your brain affects your gut health and your gut affects your brain health.

A scientific study, known as the SMILES* trial, was the first intervention study to test dietary improvement as a treatment strategy for depression. *SMILES = Supporting the Modification of Lifestyle in Lowered Emotional States

This study has helped to form a building body of evidence that supports the notion that eating at least 30 different plants across the course of the week was found to optimise gut health and as such, optimise your mood.

So, what can we do to improve our overall health? Aim for a variety of: Vegetables Fruits Whole-grains Nuts Lentils Legumes Seeds This provides our body with a broad variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and different fibres.

Quantity and diversity of plants leads to a healthy gut..

... and a healthy gut increases our likelihood of living a healthier and happier life.

Good Mood Foods

In this lesson you will learn about five mood boosting micronutrients that have been shown to have a positive effect on brain health and function and how to include them in your diet.

Food & Mood Course - Lesson Excerpt

Good Mood Foods

1.) B Group Vitamins

B Group Vitamins are involved in neuronal function and processes in our brain. Their intake is linked to general brain health, such as memory and recall.

B Group Vitamins can be found in wholegrains, vegetables, lean meats & legumes.

How to include them? Swap out a refined grain for wholegrain! Example: Instead of using white bread, use wholegrain bread.

2.) Starch

What is Resistant Starch? Resistant Starch is a type of fibre that resists digestion. It acts as food for our gut bacteria and helps to maintain good gut health, while also promoting a healthy digestive system.

3.) Omega 3s

Omega 3s are healthy fats that are essential for brain development and function.

Research suggests that Omega 3s may help reduce the symptoms of depression. This is because it makes it easier for serotonin (the happy hormone) to pass through our brain and through cells in our body.

4.) Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is required for serotonin production. It also supports sleep.

Tryptophan can be found in various animal proteins (e.g. red meat, chicken, salmon), nuts, dairy and eggs.

Try to include one tryptophan source with each dinner to help support a good night's sleep.

5.) Selenium

Trigger Foods

In this lesson you will learn how "trigger foods" like caffeine, sugar and alcohol affect your health and wellbeing and how to best manage your intake of "trigger foods".

Food & Mood Course - Lesson Excerpt

Trigger Foods

Caffeine also increases circulation of the stress hormones Adrenaline and Cortisol.

This can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

Because it is absorbed into our blood stream so quickly, we often experience a ‘sugar high’, which is then followed by an energy slump.

This energy slump may leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued, often creating the desire for more sugar - chasing another energy hit. This is why we experience sugar cravings.

When looking for snacks, try to choose fresh fruit, dairy or whole-grains before reaching for processed foods.

Alcohol is a toxin that is metabolised by our liver to be eliminated from the body. Regular and **heavy alcohol consumption ** can lead to serious liver damage.

Alcohol can be addictive as it releases dopamine, a hormone associated with pleasure and reward.

This circulating dopamine may encourage people to drink more alcohol, in an attempt to harness more of these feelings.

The question is: How much is too much?

Drinking within the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines will enable healthy adults to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-released disease or injury.

The NHMRC recommends no more than 2 standard drinks a day.

However, the less, the better. No level of drinking alcohol can be guaranteed as completely safe.

Mindful Eating

In this lesson you will understand the benefits of mindful eating and learn about some simple steps to eating more mindfully.

Food & Mood Course - Lesson Excerpt

Mindful Eating

5 Steps Here are 5 simple steps to practice mindful eating. We encourage you to either grab a snack and you can join along or jot them down and then try these steps at your next meal!

Step 1: Sit down Take a seat whenever you eat.

Avoid nibbling and picking at things, sit down with the meal in front of you.

Limit all other distractions and give your fullest attention to your food.

Step 4: Slow Down

Pace it, DON’T race it. Chew every mouthful of food and take your time to really enjoy your meal.

Step 5: Stop All good things must come to an end. The aim here is to feel full and satisfied, not overstuffed or bloated.

Course media gallery

Food & Mood

Marley Spoon

Marley Spoon's meal kit answers that recurring question, "What are we having for dinner tonight?". Every week customers select online which recipes they want to cook. Marley Spoon delivers fresh ingredients in just the right quantities, with step-by-step recipe cards.

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