We all know that what we eat affects our physical health. “You are what you eat” is what we hear… But did you know that what you put in your mouth can also have a big impact on your mental health?
That’s right, the food you eat can actually impact your mood in big ways!
Getting Started With Good Mood Foods
If you’re looking for ways to improve your mood, then consider adding these 13 good-mood foods to your diet. From eggs to dark chocolate, there are plenty of tasty options that can help boost your mood and improve your mental health.
This fish has rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a highly beneficial nutrition to the brain, which have been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety and increase energy levels.
Fatty fish like salmon also boost blood flow to specific brain regions that control memory and learning.
So next time you’re feeling stressed, try salmon! It’s one of the ultimate good mood food for your mind & body!
2. Dark Chocolate
Who doesn’t love chocolate? And it turns out that dark chocolate is actually a good mood food! That’s because it contains flavonoids, which are compounds that have been shown to reduce stress, promote calmness and reduce inflammation.
Dark chocolate also contains serotonin to increase feelings of happiness and creates a positive mood.
Additionally, dark chocolate is an excellent source of magnesium that can downgrade our cortisol levels.
So go ahead and indulge in a little dark chocolate next time you feel frazzled. Your mood will thank you for it!
These little berries are not only delicious, but they’re also good for your mood! That’s because they contain anthocyanins, which are compounds that have been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation.
Also, blueberries are said to be the number superfood to alleviate symptoms of depression due to a specific neurological response of calm when eaten.
So if you’re looking for a mental health boost, reach for some blueberries for mental health benefits ASAP!
Yogurt is the best source of probiotics, which are live bacteria that have been shown to improve mental health by reducing anxiety and depression.
Experts believe that feeding your gut fermented foods like yogurt, with healthy bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, can promote mood.
Why this is the case is still being hashed out. But it is thought that these good bacteria produce mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that transfer and are circulated through the brain as well.
So if you’re feeling down, reach for a cup of yogurt! It just might help improve your mood and make you want to smile 🙂
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety. They also contain B vitamins, which are essential for mental health.
Avocados are also a good source of folate, and research suggests that folate deficiency could contribute to some of our fatigue, fears, and anxiety.
I also keep avocados on hand for a punch of potassium for weather-related migraines. (When the pressure is rising, migraineurs need potassium to flush out fluids from creating access pressure in the head and body)
So next time you’re feeling stressed, try an avocado! It just might help improve your mood.
6. Nuts & Seeds
Like avocados, nuts are also rich in monounsaturated fats and B vitamins, making them great for mental health. They’re also a good source of magnesium, which has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Nuts have been attributed to better cognitive function, reduced risk of depression, better mood, and enhanced memory.
One of the best nuts? Snagging a few brazil nuts daily can provide you with excellent sources of all the healthy fat and minerals you need. As low levels of selenium can lead to depression, irritability, and anxiety, snacking on Brazil’s could be the perfect healthy way to boost your mood
So, if you’re looking for a snack that will benefit your mood, a great source is to reach for some nuts! (that’s what she said, ha!)
Eggs are a good source of protein and choline, both of which are essential for brain health. They’re also loaded with vitamins b6, b12, and folate – making the incredible edible egg a winner for comfort food and
They’ve also been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation. So if you’re looking for a brain-boosting breakfast option, try eggs!
Spinach is packed with nutrients like iron and folic acid, both of which are essential for mental health. It’s also a good source of magnesium, which has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your mood, try adding some spinach to your next meal!
Like spinach, broccoli is also packed with nutrients like iron and folic acid that are essential for mental health. It’s also high in fiber, which can help improve gut health (and we know that gut health is linked to mental health). So if you’re looking for a way to boost your mood AND your gut health, try broccoli!
10. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene and vitamin A, both of which have been linked to improved mental health. They’re also a good source of fiber (which we know is important for gut health) and potassium (which helps regulate blood pressure). So if you’re looking for a nutrient-packed food that can help boost your mood AND your overall health, reach for sweet potatoes!
Tomatoes are another food that’s rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene and vitamin A (which as we know, can help improve mental health). They’re also a good source of lycopene (an antioxidant that has been linked to improved heart health). So if you want a heart-healthy food that can also help improve your mood, try tomatoes!
Garlic is rich in antioxidants like allicin (which has been linked to improved heart health) and quercetin (which has been linked to reduced inflammation). It’s also a natural antibacterial agent (which can help boost immunity). So if you want a heart-healthy food that can also help boost your immunity AND improve your Mood
Oats are high in fiber (which we know is important For gut health) and minerals like magnesium (which has been linked To reduced anxiety). They’ve also been shown To promote feelings Of fullness (which can be helpful For weight management).
So If You Want A healthy breakfast option That Can Also Help Improve Your Mood AND manage Your weight
Improve mental health with food
So, you’ve decided to take charge of your mental health and start eating healthier – congrats! Not only can making better food choices improve overall physical well-being, but it can also have a positive effect on our mental state.
Incorporating the right kinds of foods (as listed above) into your diet can help support healthy brain activity and lift your mood! Win-Win!
Importance of brain health
Y’all, if you haven’t heard: it’s time to start taking brain health seriously because your mental well-being is just as important as the physical fitness you already invest in.
Sure, a few minutes of cardio and weightlifting each day will help better define your physique but don’t forget that keeping your mind in shape can be more comfortable and far more rewarding than any two-a-day routine could ever be!
Once you understand how critical it is to keep your brain strong, healthy, and nourished, then you’ll realize why boosting its abilities should be high on everybody’s priority list – starting with yours!
Optimizing brain function in other ways
We all know that food is an important part of keeping our brains functioning, but what if focusing on what we eat isn’t enough to optimize brain health? Even with a balanced diet and the right combination of nutrients, there are other ways to give your mental performance and nervous system the boost it needs. Examples include:
- Exercise regularly
- Get good quality sleep
- Keep up your social connections
- Take care of your blood vessels (blood pressure, blood sugar)
- Eat healthy, mood-boosting foods!
The Wrap – Good Mood Foods
As you can see, there are plenty of good mood foods out there that can help improve your mental health! Next time you’re feeling down or just want to boost your mood, try incorporating some of these foods into your diet. Your mind (and taste buds) will thank you for it!
What are your favorite good mood foods? I would LOVE to hear!