Feeling the stress of the modern world weighing heavily on your shoulders, and just aching for that currently fleeting happy mood to settle in and stay? Or maybe you’d love a mood lifter ready at your beck and call?
Between stress, substandard sleep, and the lack of nutrients commonly found in our diet, intermittent anxiety and occasional depressed moods are common. What can we do?
There are delicious mood boosting foods waiting on the store shelves and in your local markets, itching to gift you an elevated mood. Let’s look at the foods that may improve your mood and spread warmth and happiness into your very bones.
7 Wonderful Mood Boosting Foods
Turkey is rich in the amino acid, tryptophan. This remarkable nutrient has been shown to improve our sleep and stabilize our mood. Choose pasture-raised for the highest nutritional content.
2) A Little Lobster, Anyone?
If you have a taste for luxury, this seafood might just be what the doctor ordered. High in the good mood nutrient, zinc, the creators of National Lobster Day, must have known a thing or two about the mental merits of this crustacean.
3) Go nuts!
Walnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds are fast food with a good mood kick! These healthy, ready-to-go powerhouses serve up a potent mix of healthy protein, good fats and nutrients.
- Walnuts are a rich source of plant omega 3 fats, wonderful for preventing stress, and antioxidants which may aid calmness and the reduction of anxious feelings.
- Brazil nuts are high in selenium, known to lift a depressed mood and quell occasional anxiousness.
- Almonds are jam packed with mental health goodies like folate, antioxidants, and tyrosine — the precursor to one of the neurotransmitters, dopamine. Dopamine activates the brains pleasure and reward center, and stress can sap the levels of this important substance.
Spinach is a favorite of ours! It’s so versatile and nutritious. This green leafed power house is a healthy source of calm, containing…
- Vitamin B6— which is necessary in the creation of our happy hormones.
- Magnesium— also known as the great relaxer, and important for helping reduce stress, irritability, and sleepless nights.
- Zinc— critical for a good mood, and aiding occasional anxiousness.
5) The Calm of Tea
The English have espoused the calming virtues of tea for an eon, but the Chinese might have the scoop on the tea type. Green tea leaves and their l-Theanine content may reduce the stress response, psychologically and physically. Try some green tea and see the difference in your mood.
Many teas also contain other mood boosting ingredients, like Chamomile and Kava Kava Root, both are great mood enhancing supplements, well-known for their calming and mood lifting effects.
6) Saffron To Spice Up Your… Mood
While saffron is commonly used to contribute color and aroma to an exotic meal, it may spice up your mood as well. This small, rare species with a long history in the food trade, may envelope calm around your stress and give light to your dark mood.
7) A Free Range Egg A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Ok, so that’s not quite how the saying goes, but when considered, this little oval ready meal has everything needed for new life. The humble egg is packed with nutrition; including mood boosters like protein, vitamin D, vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, chromium, zinc and selenium… See, we saved the best ’til last!
when we mix them all together and eat from nature we find…
There Is Happiness To Be Found In Whole Foods.
Often when we look to foods that boost serotonin, improve brain and body function, and contribute to a happy mood, we examine a single nutrient. This is like looking at one digit in an equation and coming up with a faulty answer. After all, what does 1 + ? = equal?
While it is a critical starting point, there is now research looking toward a broader approach. This includes the way multiple macronutrients and micronutrients act synergistically to create a compounding effect for happiness. Eating healthy foods that improve mood is a significant aspect of setting the foundation on how to be happy in life.
Tasnime Akbaraly and her team have conducted groundbreaking research in the whole food realm, and “examined associations between two distinct dietary patterns, whole food (rich in fruit, vegetables and fish) and processed food (rich in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried food, refined cereals and high-fat dairy products)”. They found following a diet loaded with fruit, vegetables, and fish is a mood boosting game changer.
As you can see, there is much you can do to harness a happy mood, and mood boosting foods are an important key.
Once you have incorporated some of these foods into your diet and see their benefits, we recommend implementing our 7 lifestyle tips to improve your mood.
- Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/1/56/htm
- Effects of Zinc Supplementation in Patients: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796297/
- Dietary omega-3 Fatty acids and psychiatry: mood, behaviour, stress, depression, dementia and aging: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15750663
- Role of antioxidants in generalised anxiety disorder and depression: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3512361/
- The impact of selenium supplementation on mood: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1873372
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b6-pyridoxine
- l-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301051106001451
- Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4643654/
- Vitamin D deficiency is associated with low mood and worse cognitive performance in older adults: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17138809
- Effectiveness of chromium in atypical depression: a placebo-controlled trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12559660
- Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age: https://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/195/5/408