Five mood-boosting foods

Five mood-boosting foods

Improve your mental well-being with these five superfoods.

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It turns out there may be some truth behind the saying “you are what you eat.” Research suggests that consuming certain foods may help improve mood and even ward off symptoms of anxiety and depression.1 Likewise, consuming the wrong foods, such as those high in refined sugar and trans fats, may be having a negative impact on your mental well-being.1

Here are five mood-boosting foods to help brighten up your day:

  1. Fatty Fish: Fatty fish, including salmon and trout, are rich in Omega-3, a nutrient linked to a decrease in depression.2
  2. Dark Leafy Greens: Although all vegetables are good choices, dark leafy greens in particular are rich in magnesium, which may help reduce depression and anxiety.3
  3. Lean Protein: Wherever you choose to get your protein from, experts recommend getting 0.36 grams per pound of body weight a day.4 Getting enough protein has been shown to help balance hormones and increase serotonin.
  4. Avocado: Avocado is a healthy fat, meaning it can help promote brain health and reduce inflammation.
  5. Berries: High in antioxidants, berries can have a positive impact on your mood. Try mixing it up with different types of fruit, such as strawberries and red grapes, which are also high in antioxidants.

The bottom line is healthy food can have just as positive an effect on your mental health as your physical health. You might be surprised by the difference a few simple changes in your diet can make.

1Selhub, E. (2020, March 26). "Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food." Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.

2Healthline. (2020, February 5). "9 Healthy Foods that Lift Your Mood."

3Mischoulon, D. (2020, October 27). "Omega-3 fatty acids for mood disorders." Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. ; Oceans, R. (2018, December 27). "8 Nutrients and 16 Foods to Boost Your Mood — What to Eat to Increase Happiness." Food Revolution Network.

4SCL Health. (n.d.). "How Much Protein Is Simply Too Much?"