When we are feeling down, many of us have a tendency to turn to food to lift our spirits. However, the sugary, high calorie treats that many people love have negative consequences on their health conditions. Maybe you are wondering even how food can boost your mood. Researches between nutrition and mental health have been emerging. The way you feel can be influenced by many factors: environment, poor sleep, stress, mood disorders, nutritional deficiencies. It was proved that a certain kind of food can help to raise your spirits. Here are 8 healthy foods that may boost your mood.

1 - FATTY FISH

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats that you must intake through your diet because your body can’t produce them on its own. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are rich in two types of omega-3s (docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid). They are linked to lower levels of depression and stress.  Omega-3 appear to play key roles in brain development and cell signaling. Some studies showed that consuming Omega-3s in the form of fish oil actually lower depression. Although there’s no standard dose, most experts agree that most adults should get at least 250–500 mg of Omega-3 per day.

When it comes to fatty fish potions, 100 gram of salmon provides around 2,000 mg of Omega-3 acids, eating fish at least 3 times per day is an amazing way to get this healthy fat in your diet and lower your risk of falling in depression.


2 - DARK CHOCOLATE

Chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds. Dark chocolate sugar may improve mood since it’s a quick source of fuel for your brain. It’s high in health-promoting foods, which have been shown to increase blood flow to your brain, boost brain health, all of which may support mood regulation. Even the meaning of chocolate is something pleasurable, so it’s mood-boosting since you hear it I guess! To mention milk chocolate, milk chocolate contains added ingredients like sugar and fat,  so it’s best to go for dark chocolate which is lower in added sugar. Dark chocolate can increase feel-good chemicals in your brain.

3 - BANANAS

Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.  One big banana provides around 14 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber,  and sugar paired with fiber allows sugar to stabile into the bloodstream, which provides also better mood control. Fiber is keeping sugar to normal levels, not too high, and not too low, because low sugar levels lead to mood swings. This tropical fruit when it’s still greenish is a good source of prebiotics, that helps feed healthy bacteria in your gut. So, natural sugar, Vitamin B6 and prebiotic fiber keep sugar levels in the blood stable, which leads to a stable mood.


4 - OATS

Oats are a whole grain, an excellent source of fiber and amazing food to start your day. It will keep you in good spirits and give you energy. You can enjoy them in many forms: overnight oats, oatmeal, muesli, and granola.  Studies showed that people who were having 2-6 grams of fiber for breakfast, had better mood and higher energy levels. It was connected to lower sugar level, thankfully to fiber. Oats are also a great source of iron, as iron deficiency leads to anemia which symptoms are fatigue, dizziness and mood disorders.

5 - BERRIES

Because full of antioxidants, berries may help manage inflammation associated with depression and other mood issues. Berries also pack a wide range of phenolic compounds that play a key role in reducing oxidative stress. A pigment that gives berries is anthocyanin is associated with lowering depression symptoms.


6 - NUTS AND SEEDS

Most of the nuts and seeds contain tryptophan – amino acid responsible for producing serotonin, which is a mood-boosting component. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are high in proteins, healthy fats and fiber. A study showed that people who have often nuts and seeds intake has lower risks of depression. They also contain Zinc, which may support your brain function.

7 - COFFEE

This is the world’s most popular drink, and it definitely makes the world a bit happier. It increases the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters – dopamine and norepinephrine. The caffeine prevents tiredness, reduces stress, therefore increasing alertness and attention. Caffeine and chlorogenic acid not only wakes you up, but it has a mood-boosting effect also.