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Let’s face it.
Everyone needs mood boosting food… those that improve energy, combat depression can maintain a balanced diet.
You know, those superfood stuff.
The hard part about eating healthy is that it gets expensive.
Even worse, add the expense to the cost of essential vitamins and supplements that need to be taken daily… now you’re going to go broke!
The good news is that you don’t need to look far to find good whole foods packed with nutrients.
These foods are all around you, and just need to know which food to eat.
Here’s the list of 15 mood boosting foods, let’s explore!
1. Dark Leafy Greens
The mood boosting food is dark, leafy greens.
These leaves are your friends, and include fiber, which balances your blood sugar, B vitamins for brain health, as well as iron.
Why should you eat them?
Studies show that iron deficiency is closely linked to anxiety and disrupted neurotransmitters, which provides even more reason to eat these nutritious veggies.
Be sure to get more iron in your diet.
Salmon provides Omega-3 fatty acids, which are exceptional for helping to boost your mood. The Omega-3 fatty acids act as crucial elements in the development of your nervous system and brain.
In geographical areas where the residents eat more fatty fish, they become less likely to get anxious or depressed, so it makes sense that it would be good for your mood!
There are not many foods with high amounts of protein as well as vitamins B12 and D in omega-3 fatty foods “all in one” like salmon.
Full of tryptophan, turkey produces a neurotransmitter called serotonin.
When you have lower levels of tryptophan in your body, that can lead to less serotonin development as well as an increase in depression and anxiety.
- Turkey also has tyrosine, an amino acid that is related to neurotransmitters.
- Turkey is a healthy, low-fat protein option, so it is great for most people’s diets.
- Some other mood-boosting elements of turkey include vitamins B6 and B12, as well as zinc. Zinc deficiencies often lead to increased occurrences of depression and anxiety.
Start adding turkey to your sandwiches, have roasted turkey for dinner, or use ground turkey in place of ground beef in different recipes.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds act as another rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as nutrients such as iron, calcium, fiber, and protein. Oh don’t forget, it also contains magnesium, which increases feelings of well-being.
- Simply add more chia seeds into your diet is by adding them to your smoothie or protein shake.
Eggs were previously thought to be a slightly unhealthy options because of the higher fat content, but many studies have shown that they don’t have the effect on your cholesterol than was once predicted.
Why should you eat eggs?
- They are high in vitamins B12 and D, as well as protein.
- Eggs have choline, which helps with your nervous system, mood, and makes neurotransmitters and selenium, an antioxidant.
When you eat antioxidant-rich foods, it helps with your brain health and boosts your mood.
Next up is lentil, which supply folate, a vitamin that helps your nervous system develop, and those lack deficient folate experience higher rates of depression.
Lentis also contain fiber, which helps with blood sugar, protein, Vitamin B6, and iron and Vitamin B6 makes neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Note: If you are not accustomed to eating lentils, just start small by adding some to salads or having soup with lentils in them.
- Higher in fat, but it is the healthy type of fat.
- They contain fiber and vitamins B6, E and C.
- Also contain Vitamin B5, which helps your neurotransmitters develop.
8. Fermented Foods
In the past few years, research has shown a definite link between your brain and gut.
Over 90 percent of serotonin gets produced in your digestive system. So, to get your moods back on track, you will need to prioritize your gut health.
Some meta-analyses even say that probiotics can help with depression.
Whether your fermented food item of choice is sauerkraut, kombucha, or even dairy-free yogurt, all of these foods are excellent sources of probiotics.
There is a reason you tend to feel better and happier after eating chocolate, and it is not just from the sugar.
- It contains compounds such as phenylethylamine (for endorphins) and anandamide, which researchers call the “bliss” chemical.
- Not only is chocolate a good source of antioxidants, but it can also improve cognition and mood.
- For a healthier option, try to go for the darkest chocolate you are able to enjoy, looking for lower amounts of sugar in the chocolate.
If you don’t like butter or can’t eat it due to a dairy allergy, you’re in luck.
You can instead use ghee, which is made from butter, but doesn’t have the same effect on your body and happens to be another great food source for improving your mood.
- Also known as clarified butter, ghee has a lot of nutritious fats as well as vitamin D.
- It also helps to heal the digestive tract, which allows your gut bacteria to develop.
11. Sunflower Seeds
A great source of vitamins B6, E, and magnesium, sunflower seeds are a good mood booster for those with allergies to nuts.
Also, if you are allergic to fish, try Sunflower seeds and other nuts for sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Try adding sunflower seeds to your salads, or just having a handful of the seeds as a snack with a piece of fruit or cheese.
Almonds act as an amazing source of protein, vitamin E, fiber, and magnesium.
- Vitamin E in the almonds acts as an antioxidant, which helps fight damage caused by free radicals.
- This food item also improves your cognition and memory.
Incorporate more almonds into your diet, from dipping apple slices in almond butter, to switching to almond flour in your baked goods when you want a healthier option.
13. Bell Peppers
Before finishing off this list, we can’t forget about bell peppers.
- All colors of bell peppers are nutritious, low in fat, low in carbohydrates, and have lots of vitamins and minerals.
- Bell peppers have the antioxidant vitamin C, which helps the functioning of your nervous system and the improvement of your cognition.
- Vitamin C reduces your stress and helps with mood.
The health benefits of Moringa are numerous when particularly taken in the form of powder or when consumed as tea, and has produced antioxidants to support neurological activity that are essential for the proper function of emotions
A recent research showcasing the Moringa plant treating the older adults develop their brain health.
Last, but not least, are sardines. These are an acquired taste, but a good option if you enjoy the salty fish.
Sardines come with a bunch of mood-boosting elements, like Vitamin D. In addition…
- Vitamin B12
- Omega-3 fatty acids
The bottom line is that not that any specific food can boost mood. But the nutrients found in them lead to better mood.
If you saw the patterns of the same nutrient, such as the same vitamins and minerals, you should be actively consuming those.
Whether that change involves getting acquainted with kombucha or keeping a dark chocolate bar in your drawer “in case of emergency”, making tweaks to your diet now can pay dividends in the future.
You can see results even if you don’t overhaul your diet right away.
Just making one or two changes to your diet to include more mood-friendly foods can be just the thing to change your life for the better.