If you’ve ever felt down and tried to lift your mood with chocolate, you know how satisfying tasty treats can be! They even have the power to make you feel instantly better. This is not just your imagination: certain foods and beverages enhance the production of certain chemicals in your brain that may make you feel less anxious, more energized, or even cheerful.
In the last few years, researchers have been exploring the relationship between food and mood. They have discovered that healthy items, such as green vegetables - can do away with your mood swings and help you cope with sadness or tiredness, promoting your well-being.
Now, it’s essential to consider that candies or ice cream are only quick fixes that can result in irritability and sugar crashes as soon as the glucose disappears from your bloodstream. So, if you are feeling blue, eating healthy, mood-lifting foods and beverages is your best choice. Keep reading and discover the best foods that can boost your mood naturally while filling you up, giving you energy, and helping you look and feel your best.
Top Foods that Can Boost your Mood in a Heartbeat
Regardless of how challenging your day might be, it’s always easy to tackle your goals with a high spirit! But it can be tough to do so if you are hungry, thirsty, or if your body lacks essential vitamins and nutrients. Having a healthy diet is not only essential for your body, but eating certain foods can keep your bad mood at bay. How? Well, food affects how our brains develop and work and stimulate the production of certain chemicals that essentially make us happy.
While more research is needed to truly understand how certain food items act as natural mood stabilizers, many other studies have discovered the potential health and behaviour benefits food can bring about. So grab your fork and knife and start eating these top foods that can boost your mood naturally- all the while benefiting your health in many other ways!
1. Omega-3 Found in Fish & Vegetables
You may have heard about the wonders of omega-3 fatty acids found mainly in fish and some plants. In addition to being excellent for your brain development, they seem to be excellent mood stabilizers and promoters of good mental health, as shown by research. For instance, a study carried out with new mothers indicates that low levels of omega-3 can be linked to postpartum depression (1).
Unfortunately, your body cannot produce this type of acid on its own. So, eating foods rich in this fatty acid is a good idea if you are looking for natural mood boosters. Some items containing considerable amounts of omega-3 include:
- Flaxseed is used to improve digestive health. Before consuming it, consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Fish like salmon and albacore tuna.
2. Probiotics Are Your Best Allies
Probiotics (that is, live bacteria and “good” yeasts) benefit your digestive system and keep your gut healthy. The gut produces 90% of your serotonin, a substance that regulates mood, which explains why the research shows that probiotics can also act as a natural mood stabilizer. For example, they have positive effects on mild depression symptoms because they increase your serotonin levels (2).
Additionally, your gut microbes produce proteins that can improve your cognitive ability and decrease stress and anxiety. If you’d like to have all these benefits, increase your intake of these foods:
- Kefir, a type of fermented milk drink similar to yoghurt. Kefir can also protect you from harmful bacteria such as salmonella or helicobacter pylori (3).
- Miso soup, which is made of soybeans, green onions, and other ingredients. It contains many probiotics which boosts your mood while reducing the risk of suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
- Greek yoghurt, which boasts probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus casei.
- Pickled vegetables, especially fermented ones that are prepared with brine.
Just be careful when taking probiotics if you are immunocompromised. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional before starting to eat these foods
3. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate can certainly make you happy! It’s rich in many mind-boosting substances, such as sugar, caffeine, theobromine, and even phenylethylamine, a chemical released by your brain whenever you fall in love! Chocolate also has a lot of flavonoids that increase blood flow to your brain, thus boosting brain health and mood regulation (4).
Chocolate is typically rich in sugar and fat, among other not-so-healthy ingredients, so it may be best for your health to choose dark chocolate (which is lower in added sugar) whenever you need a small slight mood boost.
4. Don’t Forget About Vegetables
Green vegetables may not be as tasty as chocolate, but they can still raise your spirits. Spinach, okra, lentils, avocado, and broccoli, among other green vegetables, contain the B vitamin folate. Low folate levels have been linked with depression because a lack of folate can impair the metabolism of “happy” hormones and substances such as serotonin and dopamine. More research is needed to understand the role of folate in relation to mood and mental health.
Other vegetables like red bell pepper can also give you a small natural boost if you feel down. Research shows that they stimulate the production of serotonin, among other chemicals, which can improve your mood in a natural way (5).
5. Drinks Can Also Be Mood Stabilizers
For many people, there’s no other smell so inviting as the one produced by freshly brewed coffee. If you feel in a better mood only by smelling this delicious scent, you’re not crazy. This happens because caffeine (and even the smell of it!) can trigger the production of dopamine, a chemical that affects your mood and brain performance.
However, keep in mind that caffeine does not affect people in the same way. If it makes you irritable, nervous, sad or produces insomnia, choose some other kind of beverage to boost your mood.
- Chai. This is an Indian beverage made of traditional black tea and spices like cinnamon and ginger. Even its smell can be uplifting and energizing, so why not give it a try?
- Green tea. This good old remedy for colds can also be a great mood stabilizer. Green tea contains antioxidants that can promote the production of dopamine and other natural mood boosters. Additionally, it contains antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and other diseases (6).
- Turmeric tea can be great as a mood stabilizer, as its antioxidants have been proven to reduce stress and depression. Just boil 2-3 cups of water, add two teaspoons of turmeric and enjoy your tea!
- Smoothies made of cherry and cacao powder combine all the benefits of chocolate with the delicious flavour of cherries for a natural mood boost.
- Warm water with lemon can help if you are feeling unfocused or distracted, which can happen due to dehydration. Some people claim that even the scent of lemon can boost their performance and help them focus on the task at hand.
Extra Tips to Boost Your Mood Naturally
Feeling grumpy, anxious, unfocused, or sad? In addition to the food and beverages mentioned above, you can try out these tips and tricks to soothe your nerves and feel well again!
Have the Best Breakfast You Can
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it replenishes your body with nutrients and energy, helping you become more alert and preparing you to take on the day. For your breakfast to be truly nutritious, it’s not enough to have a cup of coffee and a cookie.
Most importantly, don’t skip breakfast! Not having this essential meal regularly can worsen your mood and make you less energetic throughout the day.
Instead, you should include fibre, lean protein, unsaturated fats, and whole grains when possible. Walnuts, for instance, are tasty and contain omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a natural mood booster and you the energy you need to start your day.
Including fruits throughout the day is also great for staying healthy and happy. For example, an apple a day does not only keep your doctor away but also makes you calmer and more energetic since apples have nutrients and chemicals that help you deal with stress and anxiety (7). In addition to being great sources of fibre, bananas are high in vitamin B6, which is essential for your body to synthesize feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.
Take it Slow When Losing Weight
Losing weight is certainly a challenging effort that can take a toll on your mood. Depriving your body of calories, fats, and carbohydrates, in general, can make you feel irritable, annoyed, and even sad. If you want to avoid these negative feelings, try to lose weight slowly but steadily, without cutting so much on calories and increasing your exercise time. Consult your healthcare practitioner to decide on the best course of action for you.
Don’t Forget to Exercise!
Whenever you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, also known as feel-good chemicals. So, if you find yourself feeling grumpy or anxious, it’s always a good idea to take a 10-minute walk, dance, or engage in any other type of physical activity you prefer and soon you’ll feel your mood rise!
Include Health Supplements Into Your Daily Routine
Supplements are excellent if you need some extra nutrients, a bit more energy, or control over your mood swings. They usually combine different natural ingredients that promote health and well-being. Our Happy Fermented Fibre, for example, contains green banana powder and 5 HTP, a precursor of serotonin, which nourishes your gut microbiota while supporting feelings of happiness and improved mood.
Or if you feel like you need a little energy boost, our Ketone Energy 4 will give you just that! In addition to supporting weight loss and calorie-burning, this system aids in reducing stress, irritability, and anxiety.
Lift Your Spirits with Healthy Food
Even the smallest dietary changes can make a difference in how you feel. Mood swings are common and can affect your quality of life, but they can be managed with an array of natural options. If you have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or any other condition, you should always seek treatment with your doctor.
So, next time you feel hungry, instead of having a good old burger for lunch, you can make a smart choice and keep your spirits high by having a nutritious salad with green vegetables and walnuts. And if you accompany those foods for mood swings with natural health supplements like our Hormone Harmony system, soon you’ll notice how everything starts looking brighter again!