Community//

12 Foods to Enhance your Mood and Cheer you up

Food & Nutrition

A bad mood can play spoilsport with your whole day and plummet your productivity to a new low, leading to more stress and a further deterioration in your mood. So it is essential to get rid of it as soon as possible and get back to your natural cheerful self.

Though it is not easy to shrug off a bad mood as it has its own reasons for its existence, there are some foods which can help to improve it and make you feel much better than before.

Here are 12 such healthy foods that you can consume when you are feeling low that will improve your mood and boost your health and energy levels.

Oats

Oats being complex carbohydrates(low GI index) are potent in boosting your mood.

Complex carbohydrates do not spike your sugar levels which are known to cause mood swings.

They release sugar slowly into the bloodstream, stabilizing your blood sugar levels and mood.

Additionally, they also contain the mineral selenium which also has mood-boosting properties.

Fruits & Vegetables

According to various studies, the antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables are linked with a lower risk of depression.

A research study which was conducted recently on 3,500 men and women showed that those men and women who reported eating a diet abundant in whole foods in the past year were less likely to feel depressed than others who consumed lots of refined grains, processed meats, fried foods, desserts and high-fat dairy products.

Fruits and vegetables are full of beneficial nutrients, thus it is quite natural and expected that their consumption makes you feel good mentally as well as physically.

Fish

Omega-3s are very effective in boosting your mood, but the downside is that our bodies don’t produce them.

So consuming foods rich in omega-3s like oily, fatty fish(salmon, tuna, sardines, rainbow trout) can improve your mood considerably and make you feel upbeat.

Omega-3s are known to alter brain chemicals associated with mood- particularly dopamine and serotonin.

Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression, anxiety, suicidal intentions, etc. while dopamine is a feel-good chemical which is released by the brain in response to experiences pertaining to pleasure.

Avocado

Avocados have a wide range of health benefits, especially concerning the brain.

It is a great food to improve your mood, and it is also helpful in protecting your heart and assisting in digestion.

Avocados have the natural quality of balancing hormones, ensuring that your brain is making the right chemicals required for a great mood.

Bananas

Bananas contain carbohydrates, phosphorus, potassium, iron, vitamins, A, C and B6.

It also contains the amino acid tryptophan.

The carbohydrates help in improving the mood while they also help in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain while the vitamin B6 aids in converting the tryptophan into serotonin.

Thus tryptophan helps in enhancing your mood, which has made it popular in the treatments of a variety of mental conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in a multitude of vitamins and nutrients like manganese, vitamins A, and C.

Thus, strawberries have the capability to defend against brain degeneration, along with enhancing the feel-good chemicals in your brain.

Plus, who can forget their juicy delicious taste?

Thus, strawberries are the perfect way to satisfy your taste buds while improving your mood.

Grapes

This little fruit besides its sweet taste also has the ability to improve your mood and make you feel better.

Grapes are chock-full of antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, which are known for their mood-enhancing effects.

Don’t go for the dried grapes like raisins though as they will increase your calorie intake considerably, aiding in weight gain which would indirectly lead to a decline in your mood rather than improvement.

Opt for the natural variety as they will keep your calorie intake in check while also boosting your mood.

Raw nuts

Nuts have ample amounts of serotonin, antioxidants and healthy fats, thus enhancing your mood significantly.

Just don’t overdo them as they are high in calories.

Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds contain the amino acid tyrosine, which boosts the brain’s dopamine levels, activating the feel-good hormone to the fullest while balancing out the other hormones.

So stop using sesame seeds as just toppings on bread, cookies, etc. but make them a mainstay in your diet to take in their mood- enhancing benefits.

Coffee

Coffee has a variety of mental health benefits including the ability to improve alertness of mind, make you feel positive and counter feelings of depression.

Coffee gives a boost to your serotonin level which is accountable for the feeling of positivity while the high level of caffeine is responsible for the enhanced alertness and decrease in feelings of depression.

Tea

According to research, theanine, an amino acid present in tea along with the decent amount of caffeine in it increases the attention and focus of one’s mind, helping one focus on his work and keep negative thoughts away, thus helping in boosting mood.

But for you to experience these benefits of tea, it is suggested to drink 5 to 6 cups daily.

Dark Chocolate (70% or above cocoa percentage)

Research has shown that consuming dark chocolate regularly leads to a decrease in stress hormones including cortisol in people under high levels of stress.

It is courtesy of the abundance of beneficial antioxidants in chocolate.

These include flavanols, polyphenols, catechins, among others.

One research study came to the conclusion that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity than other fruits including antioxidant-rich acai berries and blueberries.

So you are free to indulge in dark chocolate, but in small quantities, as it can lead to an increase in your weight if consumed in large quantities due to it being calorie-dense.

Conclusion

These were 12 foods for you to consume whenever you feel a drop in your mood and want a quick boost.

This list includes various kinds of foods suitable for each meal of the day, whether it be breakfast, snacks, lunch or dinner.

So include these foods in your diet as per the various meals and stay on top of your mood throughout the day.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.