Words by Charley Snell
Good mood foods are set to be one of the trends of the next decade. “Better for you” is giving way to “better for me” as consumers look for options that feed mental wellbeing and personal satisfaction in addition to physical health. From adaptogens and probiotics to catechins and turmeric, there’s an all-out quest to find food and drink filled with ingredients that make the experience equally enjoyable and beneficial.
Here are some of the top examples.
Cold Brew Coffee
Swapping out hot-brewed coffee for a brew that’s been steeped in cold water for 12 to 24 hours is believed to offer mental and physical benefits.
Moon Milk is an increasingly popular choice to de-stress or have before going to sleep, because it combines warm milk with ashwagandha, an adaptogen known to significantly reduce anxiety. Plus, it can be enhanced with a range of spices and natural flavours—like honey or fruits—to suit almost any palate.
Green tea is an ideal midday revitaliser thanks to its combination of caffeine and L-theanine. Respectively, they offer benefits of mood improvement and anti-anxiety. Together, they provide a unique synergistic effect – particularly good at enhancing brain function and mental clarity.
It’s always a good idea to have an immune-boosting superfood as a key ingredient. Spirulina is a freshwater algae packed with protein, copper, iron, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, plus vitamins B1, B2, and B3. It can be mixed with tea and fruit combinations for an invigorating smoothie or chiller.
The warm scents and tastes of chai tea are a welcome relief any time of day. The cardamom, cloves, and ginger can lead to increased feelings of alertness and decreased frustration. Additionally, the cinnamon can help keep blood sugar levels stable to counteract food cravings and energy lulls.
Organic Hot Chocolate
Wellbeing is often found in comfort, and organic hot chocolate serves plenty of it. By combining warm indulgence with the antioxidants found in raw and organic cocoa powder, this treat serves a doubly satisfying sip.
Made from the leaves of the rainforest mate tree, Yerba Mate tea has a strong caffeine kick with the healthful benefits of antioxidants, amino acids and more. Easily spotted in gourds with metal straws throughout South America, it can also be enjoyed across the globe in hot and cold varieties.
Turmeric – the key ingredient to Golden Milk – is known as the “spice of life” in India, and for good reason. Golden milk is fast becoming a mood-boosting mainstay because of turmeric’s ability to provide a soothing experience alongside 150 potentially therapeutic properties (you read that right: 150!).
Gut health is a growing concern for consumers and fermented drinks answer the call. Fermented from sweetened tea, Kombucha provides a fizzy, distinctly tart and effervescent drink, rich in probiotics. And since it’s endlessly customisable with flavour add-ins, there’s an option for every taste (and gut).
Made from green tea leaves that have been ground into a fine powder, Matcha offers the benefits of the entire leaf, including a much higher catechin content than standard green tea. According to some, this boost in antioxidants means an increase in metabolism and overall sense of wellbeing.
Momentum is rapidly shifting to these good mood beverages as more people move away from the sweet and shiny drinks that have gained a following on social media. Expect to see more functional ingredients, traditionally holistic drinks, and original combinations of both leading the way.