6 Mood-Enhancing Foods for a Healthy Diet

By on April 14, 2020
Healthy Diet

Everyone knows that a healthy diet is vital for good physical health. Eating a diet full of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and veggies is a great way to fuel your body properly so it can operate efficiently. However, your diet also has an impact on your mental health. Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety or another mental health disorder, try adding these six foods into your diet so you can enjoy their mood-boosting benefits.

Cocoa

Although chocolate is typically viewed as junk food that should only be enjoyed in moderation, the cocoa used to make chocolate actually has numerous health benefits. Cocoa loses a lot of its nutritional value through processing, so it is best to enjoy chocolate with minimal processing. Dark chocolate makes a great snack, but you could also enjoy cocoa capsules or cocoa drink powder to receive the same benefits. Not only has cocoa been shown to help stabilize blood sugar and lower blood pressure, but it stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain, so you’ll feel calmer and less stressed after eating cocoa.

Yogurt

Probiotics are good bacteria that promote healthy digestion. They have also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Because yogurt is full of probiotics, eat it regularly to boost your mood while maintaining good gut health.

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Spinach

Spinach is a versatile leafy green that is full of vitamins and minerals. Not only is it low in calories, but it is full of folic acid which is a great mood enhancer. You can consume as much spinach as you want with no guilt from overeating. As an added bonus, there are dozens of ways to consume spinach so you are sure to find a way to incorporate it into your diet even if you don’t like the taste. Try tossing a handful into your favorite casserole or smoothie recipe, eat it in a salad or sauté it for a delicious, healthy side dish.

Chicken

Chicken produces tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin leaves you feeling full, relaxed and sleepy, so you are less likely to feel anxious or depressed after eating chicken. Good sleep is important for mental and physical health, so adding chicken to your diet is a great way to promote relaxation and fight depression and anxiety so you can be your best self.

Nuts

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to boost brain health. Nuts are full of these healthy fats. Snack on a variety of nuts to enjoy many health benefits and stimulate the brain’s production of dopamine. This decreases depression symptoms and elevates your mood.

Salmon

Any type of fish is a healthy source of protein, but salmon can be especially beneficial for people who want to boost their mental health. Like nuts, salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that are linked to reduced symptoms of depression. This fish also has a high concentration of Vitamin D, which is proven to boost mood and protect against mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

While each of these foods is a great mood booster, it is important to remember that none of them are effective cures for mental health disorders by themselves. Eat a well-balanced diet to improve your physical health, but make sure to incorporate these foods to enjoy their mood-enhancing benefits. You may find that consuming these foods regularly is enough to boost your mental health so you can be the best version of yourself. By adding these tools to your arsenal for protecting your mental health, you can set yourself up for a healthy, thriving life and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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6 Mood-Enhancing Foods for a Healthy Diet