How Food Affects Your Mood
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives with startling speed. The Jaffa team
knows firsthand that the sudden changes to our regular lives is having a big impact on how we’re
If you’re feeling a little stressed and unhappy, this blog is for you! We’ve shared our top tips for how you
can use food to improve your mood and keep yourself feeling a little bit happier during this uncertain
How do my food choices affect my mood?
The hormone responsible for stabilising our feelings of well-being and happiness is called serotonin.
Serotonin is also important for helping to regulate our sleep, appetite and even our ability to tolerate
You might be surprised to hear that approximately 90% of our serotonin is created in our gut. It’s for this
reason that scientific researchers have concluded there is a relationship between what we eat and how
we feel. Having a healthy gut helps our bodies to produce a consistent amount of the serotonin
hormone. Similarly, poor gut health can disrupt our production of serotonin, which can cause our body
to reduce its production of the hormone.
Scientists measure our gut health by assessing our gut microbiome. Whilst science suggests that our
unique microbiome is created within the first 1000 days of our life, our dietary choices continue to
influence the balance of our gut health as we get older.
Foods that contain lots of chemical additives and ultra-processed foods may be tasty and convenient but
they don’t feed your gut microbiome with the nutrients it needs. A diet that is rich in ultra-processed
foods such as canned foods, sugar-coated snacks and foods high in salt will cause our gut to become a
breeding ground for “bad” bacteria. These so-called “bad” bacteria limit our ability to absorb nutrients
from foods and also reduce our ability to regulate our serotonin production.
Can I improve my mood using food?
Whilst a diet of highly-processed foods will starve your gut microbiome of the nutrition it requires to
thrive, a balanced diet of whole foods will feed the “good” bacteria in your gut. Research has shown that
eating a healthy diet and avoiding inflammation-producing foods is the most effective way of protecting
yourself against low moods.
Some of the ways you can improve your mood through food choices are:
● Focus on whole foods and avoid packaged and processed foods where possible. “Whole foods”
are any foods that you consume in their natural state. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds all fall
into this category.
● Increase your fibre intake by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many people in the UK
don’t reach the daily fibre intake target set by the NHS. You can boost the amount of fibre
you’re eating each day by snacking on fibre-rich foods such as nuts, vegetable sticks or a Jaffa
orange or two!
● Eat the rainbow, as the saying goes. Fruits and vegetables are a great way of introducing lots of
different colours to your plate at any meal. Eating a colourful diet is a sure-fire way to ensure
you are feeding your body all of the nutrients and vitamins it requires to thrive each day.
● Eat probiotic-rich foods such as plain Greek yoghurt. Yoghurts can be made with lots of added
sugar so it’s important to read the labels to ensure you’re eating low-sugar options. We
recommend you look for Greek yoghurt with a higher fat content to avoid sugar-laden options.
● Try adding fermented foods into your diet. This could mean replacing your morning yoghurt
with kefir or occasionally adding sauerkraut to your evening meals. Fermented foods are great
for maintaining good gut health.
● Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Mind, the mental health charity, encourages people to
drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day to help with concentration and also to aid your digestion and gut
health. Water is the cheapest and healthiest option when it comes to hydration. If you’re
struggling to drink enough, try adding wedges of orange and blueberries to a big bottle of water
for a delicious naturally-flavoured drink.
Making small changes to your food and drink choices can have a significant impact on your physical and
mental health. By following these steps, you can feed your gut microbiome with the nutrients it needs to
remain healthy. You will soon feel the effects of your better food choices in your mind and your mood.
Effective habit building
Of course, it’s not always easy to change how we eat and drink. Our food habits are often formed at a
young age and are influenced heavily by our environment. However, you have more control over your
food choices than you might think and, by following some simple steps, you can start to change your
Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change, talks
about the idea of ‘keystone’ habits. He describes keystone habits as “small changes or habits that people
introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives”. He argues
that by forming a new keystone habit, we can create a domino effect that can change other areas of our
Some common examples of keystone habits are sleep and journaling. When we commit to maintaining a
regular 8-hours-a-night sleep pattern, research has shown we can expect to find ourselves retaining
information more effectively and making better decisions.
Similarly, keeping a personal journal or diary has been shown to improve writing skills, reduce stress and
boost creativity. Whilst we may commit to going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day with
the intention of feeling more alert and awake, we may find this habit introduces other unintended
benefits to our life. For instance, building a habit of sleeping for 8-hours a night will also help us to make
healthier food choices because we have more energy with which to make these choices.
Keystone habits have three key characteristics:
1. They make it easier for us to start a new habit
2. They are small enough not to overwhelm us
3. They make positive behaviours addictive
Our daily food choices can become keystone habits too. For instance, choosing to eat a healthy,
nutritionally balanced breakfast each morning can help us to stick to healthy food choices throughout
the day. A breakfast that is high in fibre and includes protein, carbohydrates and some fats will set you
up for success all day. This could be a Jaffa orange chia pudding or a bowl of delicious citrus overnight
Transform your mood for life
The science is clear: our food choices influence how we feel day-to-day in many ways. By focusing on
building good food habits, we can help ourselves feel positive and happy each day and spread some
#JaffaJoy. We encourage you to take ownership of the food and drink choices you make each day. You
will soon find you are in control of your mood much more than you may have realised!
England Netball reveals a juicy new partnership with Jaffa Fruit
England Netball has today announced a new partnership with leading fruit brand, Jaffa.
The initial two-year partnership, which will see the Vitality Roses squad proudly sporting the Jaffa logo on their match day dresses, will allow England Netball to continue to build on its achievements across both a grassroots and elite level.
Jo Sinclair, Commercial Director at England Netball, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Jaffa to our netball family. Jaffa’s aim to encourage people of all ages to live more active and healthier lifestyles mirrors our values and vision here at England Netball.
“Jaffa’s investment will allow netball to continue to grow at both a grass roots and elite level – it’s another really positive moment for the sport. It’s also the perfect time for Jaffa to be coming on board, with netball fever currently sweeping the nation in the lead up to the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 in Liverpool.
“It’s refreshing to work with brands that don’t just view sponsorship as a branding exercise, Jaffa have committed significant investment into fan engagement and activation at events and we are really excited to be working in true partnership with their fantastic team.”
Jaffa will be launching the partnership at the three-match Vitality Netball International Series against Uganda, which runs from 27 November to 2 December.
Lorna Norrington, Senior Commercial Manager from AMT Fruit, said of the partnership:
“We are delighted to be working alongside England Netball, especially as the excitement grows in the lead up to the World Cup.
“Key to the brand aims is to educate and promote a happy healthy lifestyle, working alongside England Netball allows us to further communicate this with a partner who shares our vision and values.”
British Canoeing announce Jaffa as principal partner for international slalom events
British Canoeing has today announced that leading fruit brand Jaffa has been appointed as the Principal Partner for the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup and 2020 ECA Canoe Slalom European Championships.
As the principal partner, Jaffa will have a range of naming and branding rights, including their logo prominently placed on all competition bibs and the uniform for officials and volunteers at the events which will be held at Lee Valley White Water Centre, the London 2012 Games legacy venue.
The two-year partnership will also see Jaffa become the ‘official fruit partner’ for British Canoeing.
David Joy, Chief Executive at British Canoeing said:
“I am delighted that we have today appointed Jaffa as the principal partner for our international slalom events. As one of the UK’s most loved fruit brands, that share our ethos of a healthy lifestyle, we are looking forward to working with Jaffa in hosting the Slalom World Cup in June.
“With tickets going back on sale today we are looking forward to attracting families to have a value for money, fun day out and support the British team as they take on the world’s best paddlers.”
The Jaffa brand is part of AMT Fruit, based in Newmarket, which supplies citrus products in the UK exclusively for Tesco.
Rachel Hancox, Commercial Product Lead at Jaffa said:
“At Jaffa we are committed to offering quality citrus fruit; available year-round in Tesco stores across the UK. We are also intent on encouraging healthy diets and lifestyles amongst children and adults alike.
“Being the British Canoeing ‘Official Fruit Partner’ and having significant involvement in the 2019 and 2020 International Slalom Events, we are thrilled at the prospect of supporting this exciting sport, and the opportunity to jointly spread our message, whilst sharing plenty of juicy oranges and easy peelers along the way.”
The 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup presented by Jaffa takes place on 14-16 June 2019. Over 1,600 tickets have been sold in advance, with tickets going back on general sale today.
For further information about the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup presented by Jaffa, including ticket prices and sign up details for the British Canoeing international events newsletter, click here.
JAFFA GET PREPARED WITH THE SCOUTS
Leading Citrus Brand Jaffa Fruit have announced a new partnership with The Scout Association which will see them working alongside both Beaver and Cub groups nationwide.
The two-year partnership includes the sponsorship of two badges; The Beaver Health and Fitness badge and the Cub Skills Challenge Award, joining current partners including companies such as Halfords, Rolls Royce and The RAF.
Stated Jaffa spokesperson Rachel Hancox:
‘We are very excited to partner with such a great institution as The Scout Association and hope to make a positive contribution to the activities and education of its members throughout the country.
By partnering with the badges, we have produced Activity Resources for Beavers and Cubs to learn from and undertake new challenges in fun and interactive ways.’
The partnership will run for an initial two year period and leads on from the successful Jaffa Juniors schools activity which saw 20,000 children educated on diet and nutrition over a three year period in conjunction with the Tesco Eat Happy Project.
Stated The Scout Association spokesperson Joanna Stewart:
‘We are delighted to team up with Jaffa to make learnings on nutrition and wellbeing as engaging, fun and informative as possible for our young members. Jaffa will be providing us with significant support to ensure that young people can learn skills for life, realise their potential, grow in confidence and above all, have fun! We look forward to seeing what this union will bring.’
The Scouts Association endeavours to actively engage and support young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society.
Through this partnership, Jaffa will work collaboratively to generate knowledge and enthusiasm amongst children around the benefits of leading active and healthy lives.
126,000 Beaver Members Nationwide
156,000 Cubs Members Nationwide
25% Of Members Are Female
Jaffa sponsor England Hockey
Jaffa are once again the title sponsors of the 2019 Super 6 tournament. After the success of 2018, this year looks set to become even bigger and better.
Here’s how it works….
The Jaffa Super 6s Championships run as leagues in December and January, with the top four teams from the Premier Divisions qualifying for the Jaffa Super 6s Finals which will be held at the Copper Box on 27 January 2019.
The top four teams in the Jaffa Super 6s Premier Divisions will qualify for the Jaffa Super 6s Finals at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Olympic Park on Sunday 27 January 2019. The bottom two are relegated to Division One. Division One has two teams promoted and relegated from the division.
For Division Two, in the first weekend there will be six teams in each of the North and South divisions who play against each other.
The top three teams from each division will then come together to form a National Division Two on the second weekend play for a place in Division One the following season.
The top two teams from the National Division Two will be promoted, with clubs finishing third and sixth qualifying for the Division Two North and Division Two South again the following season.
The six teams who failed to qualify for the National Division Two will all be relegated back to their respective regional leagues the following season.
Regional HA qualifying tournaments are held prior to the Super 6s Championships in December.
Six teams qualify and participate in Division Two North or South. This is the five Regional winners plus 2nd in the Region with most entrants.