What are the best foods to eat for a better mood?

Maintaining a positive mood can sometimes be challenging in our hectic lives.

Surprisingly, one way to improve your mood might be as simple as paying attention to what you eat [1]. Research published in Ageing Research Reviews suggests that certain foods can significantly impact our mental wellbeing, helping us feel happier and more balanced.

1. Fruits and vegetables

It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are essential for physical health, but their benefits also extend to mental health.

Studies have shown that individuals consuming higher amounts of fruits and vegetables report greater happiness and life satisfaction [2].

These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which support brain function and help regulate mood.

2. Whole grains

Opting for whole grains like brown rice, oats and quinoa over refined grains can improve mood.

Whole grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a steady release of energy and help stabilize blood sugar levels. This constant energy supply can prevent mood swings and promote a positive outlook.

3. Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids essential for brain health

Omega-3s have been linked to a reduced risk of depression and can help improve mood and overall emotional wellbeing [3]. Incorporating fatty fish into your diet a few times a week can significantly boost your mental health.

4. Nuts and seeds

Snacking on nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts and flaxseeds can positively impact mood. These foods are rich in healthy fats, protein and fiber, which help satisfy you and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Additionally, nuts and seeds contain nutrients like magnesium and zinc, which regulate mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

5. Dark chocolate

Indulging in a small piece of dark chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth and lift your mood. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and contains compounds that stimulate the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones in your brain. Just be sure to choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa content for maximum benefits.

6. Probiotics

Gut health is closely linked to mental health, and probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables can help support a healthy gut microbiome.

Research published in Biomedicines suggests that probiotics may positively affect mood by reducing inflammation and promoting the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, often called the “happiness hormone.”

By incorporating these mood-boosting foods into your diet, you can take proactive steps to support your mental wellbeing and develop a more positive outlook.

Remember, small changes can add up to make a big difference, so start by making simple swaps and gradually build on your healthy eating habits. Your mind and body will thank you for it!

[1] https://www.heart.org/en/news/2022/03/30/how-to-boost-your-mood-through-food
[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1568163721001501?via%3Dihub
[3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S241464472030004X

Photograph: piasupuntongpool/Envato
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