Foods That Can Boost Your Mood

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The field of nutritional psychiatry is relatively new, but early findings show a strong connection between diet, mood, and mental health. Here are some of the best foods linked to promoting a happy and healthy mind and body.

Fermented Foods

A good source of natural probiotics, fermented foods have gut-friendly bacteria that not only influence digestive health and inflammation levels throughout the body, but also appear to have a positive influence on mood and energy levels. Natural probiotics can be found in foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso and tempeh.

Try: Tutti Frutti Muesili with Yogurt or Edamame and Salmon Miso Stir-Fry

Omega 3-rich Foods

Research suggests omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may help protect against depression. Though there is still lots more to study in this area, scientists know that Omega-3s can easily travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain. Find Omega-3s in fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines and anchovies, flaxseeds and chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.

Try: Pear Walnut Quinoa Salad or Apricot Chile-Glazed Salmon

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates can decrease mood swings by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and increasing serotonin production, a “feel good” chemical produced in both the gut and the brain. Great sources of complex carbohydrates include whole grains, beans, peas, pears, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. 

Try: Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese or Avocado Walnut Pesto Pasta


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