Most of us turn to food in times of stress or unhappiness, even though we don't fully realise it. After all, it's called comfort food for a reason.
But while cakes, sweets and chocolates alleviate the misery temporarily, there is a much better way of tackling unhappiness and stress - by eating the right kid of food.
We won't claim it will solve your problems, but exploring how food can boost your mood are dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker and food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson from Channel 4’s Secret Eaters, who have launched a healthy and mindful eating campaign alongside Tilda.
Dr Schenker and Dr Christy’s Top Ten Foods For Happy Moods
Dr Schenker, said: ''It’s shocking to see wholesome eating habits go out the window when we face a challenge in the day or a lull in a routine. This is when healthy eating is most important.
"We need to replace the short-lived highs we get from refined sugar and processed fat with healthier options and new long-term shopping and eating habits. This starts with recognising the types of food that can provide nutritional and psychological benefits; those which are scientifically proven to balance your mood.”
They conducted a study that revealed 61% of us have bad food habits when it comes to eating out of unhappiness. Despite 16% of us knowing that their mood lift from junk food is short-lived, 29% of us turn to pizza, 35% reach for crisps and 28% opt for fast food.
Only 15% of us choose healthy fruits, vegetables or wholegrains which are shown to combat stress and low moods (and winter blues).
Just 15% of the 2,000 adults surveyed revealed that they stocked up on the foods that are shown to boost brain function and maintain a steady, happy mood such as wholegrains, avocado, blueberries and amino-rich salmon.
Food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson highlights the critical need to provide our bodies with the right fuel in order to eat our way to happiness: “To make feel-good, happy chemicals known as our neurotransmitters, we need to provide our body with the right building blocks.
"These come in the form of amino acids that are needed to make hormones including the mood-regulating inhibitory neurotransmitter serotonin - by far one of the most important brain chemicals for determining our mood and regulating our sleep.”