9 Proven Mood-Boosting Foods That May Make You Happier
by Vickie Chin on Oct 18, 2022
You'll often hear the saying 'you are what you eat'. This is never more true than considering nutritional psychiatry and how diet influences energy levels and mood. Discerning nutrition choices can help your body work optimally. They promote mental health by combating stress and anxiety, and they can foster a sense of positivity from within. An energy and mood-boosting foods list leans toward complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats and limits processed food.
Nuts and Seeds
We love versatile organic nuts and seeds here at Organic Traditions, which are one of the most healthy mood boosting foods.
Whether you toast nuts and seeds for a moreish filler between meals or a crunchy salad topping, smear tahini or creamy nut butter on a slice of toast for breakfast, or enjoy a chia pudding, nuts and seeds are oh so nourishing. Plant-based protein, check.
Healthy fats and fibre, check. And they provide tryptophan which helps your body make serotonin, one of the so-called happy hormones alongside dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. They also offer melatonin for better sleep. And almonds, for example, are an excellent source of the minerals zinc and selenium associated with a lower risk of depression.
Green vegetables like broccoli or dark leafy greens are nutrient-dense foods that do you a world of good. Greens are also considered beneficial mood boosting vegan foods. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach contain magnesium, zinc, iron, B vitamins like folate, and vitamins A and E.
These all contribute to how energized you feel physically and mentally. Although not a substitute for whole foods, greens powders can be an effective option to plug gaps in your nutrition. Green vegetables are dried and then ground into a powder or juiced and dehydrated.
Berries are nature's candy. They're gorgeous and deliciously sweet with a hint of tartness, but unlike artificial sugary treats, berries are also nutritional powerhouses.
They pack an antioxidant punch, which reduces inflammation that can cause mood disorders. And the anthocyanins that give berries a purplish-blue hue can also lower the risk for depressive symptoms.
You can whizz fresh or frozen berries into healthy smoothies. You can enjoy also dried berries like goji berries, cherries, cranberries, and mulberries keep well in your pantry for any time snacking. They're high in natural sugars, so you don't want to go overboard. Instead, use them to complement other superfoods such as nuts in a trail mix.
Beans, Pulses and Lentils
Peas, garbanzo beans, and lentils make for satisfying chow, and the protein intake of vegans and vegetarians largely depends on consuming these legumes. Pulses are high in B vitamins which play a significant role in your brain chemistry and mood regulation. They also provide minerals like magnesium and non-heme iron, which can unconsciously cheer you up.
The famous Mediterranean diet is rich in legumes and is linked to a lower prevalence of depression. And the Mind diet for brain health recommends eating these top foods to boost your mood in at least four meals a week.
Tea and Coffee
In the Blue Zone of Okinawa in Japan, locals enjoy green tea with jasmine and turmeric. This combo is potent! The antioxidant curcumin in turmeric can improve memory and mood, and green tea is rich in mood-boosting polyphenols too. Studies indicate that people who consume more green tea are less likely to show depressive symptoms. That's all the more reason to start a self-care ritual with a warm mug of organic premium matcha tea or an organic turmeric latte.
In addition, coffee lovers will be happy to know that their favourite beverage gets the green light. When consumed in moderation, coffee increases energy levels and the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine that can keep the blues at bay. Even decaf coffee may have mood-boosting properties thanks to phenolic compounds.
Greek or Icelandic Yogurt
Fermented foods like yogurt contain probiotics that can do wonders for your gut health and are on top of the best mood-boosting foods. Probiotics help balance good and bad bacteria in your gut, which is a significant factor in mental wellness. Greek yogurt and Icelandic skyr are protein-rich compared to other store-bought yogurts, and low-fat yogurt is also high in selenium and iodine, which can assist you with managing anxiety. By sprinkling fruit powders in yogurt bowls, you can enhance mood-improving effects. Protein plus produces equal synergy.
The Mediterranean diet also includes a lot of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) from the first pressing of olives. Research suggests that daily consumption of EVOO can improve the symptoms of severe depression. EVOO contains monounsaturated fats and antioxidants galore, and it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase serotonin.
Avocado is a fruit and a highly beneficial one at that. It contains potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium, which can boost your mood and make you feel calmer. The B vitamins in avocadoes also help you respond better to antidepressants, if relevant.
Avocados may get you in the mood if you catch our drift. Avos are great for cardiovascular health, which can help your heart pump blood to your nether regions.
The most fantastic foods to incorporate into your mental-wellness-focused diet are organic coconut products. Coconuts are high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that your system metabolizes quickly. They also contain antioxidants, B vitamins, and many of the mood-boosting minerals we've touched on above, like selenium and iron.
Eat Healthier With Organic Traditions
True comfort food can often come straight out of the earth. And what we eat mostly comes down to accessibility. If you keep superfoods on your desk rather than candy, you'll probably feel more upbeat and ready to take on the day. Organic Traditions is your one-stop shop for the best natural foods to improve your mood. Browse our full range here.