Good Mood Food

Published: Oct. 27, 2017 By ,
One yellow smiley face ball in a group of blue sad face balls

You’re having one of those days—nothing seems to be going right and it feels like everyone is purposely trying to annoy you. We’ve all been there, and you think the only thing that might make you feel better is ice cream or anything deep-fried. While those may seem like comfort foods, they can actually contribute to your bad mood. Here’s why:

  • Mood affects our food choices
  • Our food choices affect our nutrition
  • Our nutrition affects our mood

Emotions may lead us to select different kinds of food based on how we react to our moods at the time. When we’re stressed out, our brains crave instant satisfaction found in highly processed, salty and sugary foods. Eating high sugar and carb meals causes blood sugar to spike and crash, contributing to weight gain, mood swings, depression and fatigue.

Proper nutrition is key to mental health because our brains need a lot of energy and nutrients to develop and function properly. The food we eat breaks down into essential components of the brain like neurotransmitters and enzymes. In addition, certain nutrients are linked to increased communication between brain cells.

The brain isn’t the only thing that affects moods. Probiotic rich foods can fill your gut with healthy bacteria that defends against harmful germs and inflammation while supporting immune function and even synthesizing good vitamins.

Next time you’re feeling grumpy, think about grabbing some good mood snacks:

  • Soft-boiled egg and whole grain toast → complex carbs release steady flow of energy and serotonin is a brain chemical with calming effects. Eggs have Omega 3’s that improve thinking, memory and possibly mood
  • Almonds and dark chocolate → almonds are rich in magnesium, a mineral essential for energy production while dark chocolate offers antioxidants and caffeine
  • Chickpeas (try hummus or roasted with olive oil and spices) → chickpeas have zinc which regulates the body’s response to stress and increases immune function
  • Sliced turkey and fruit → iron and protein fight fatigue and depression while fruit offers a quick source of energy