19-03-2022 / Health and Fitness

7 Food items that can boost your Spirits - Mood Food

Foods are not just fuel to our body, they are fuel to our minds. Read on to get your foods for mood list and ways to use them to uplift the mood

7 Food items that can boost your Spirits - Mood Food
Keerthana A PKeerthana A P

Keerthana A P

Food Technologist, Engineer & Research Associate

Table of Content

Introduction

Foods are not only meant to nourish, repair and rebuild your body but also for boosting your mood. Do you remember the last time you binged on sweets just because you were stressed? Foods become our emotional comfort when we find no reasons to be happy or relaxed. Mood-boosting foods give us ‘dopamine hits’ which makes us feel relaxed and calm. But more than often, we choose the wrong foods to binge – like processed foods and sugary drinks. Dive into this blog to know the mood-lifting foods that are healthy but also help in alleviating your not-so-good phase of mind.

Foods for mood-boosting

Foods for mood boosting

Foods for mood enhancement seem more than necessary nowadays as we all need an escape from modern hectic life. Find some of the foods for mood upliftment below,

1. Dark Chocolates

Though chocolates are often blamed for high sugars, they take the first place if we make the ‘good mood food list’. Chocolates help in releasing happy hormones that can instantly get you in a relaxed and calm mood. While chocolate helps for a good mood, it should be eaten in moderation. Overconsumption may increase your blood sugar levels causing diabetes and obesity.

2. Fish

Omega 3 fatty acids have a direct effect on the brain cells and thus, positively impacts your mental health. It is said that these fatty acids can treat severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and even chronic depression. Fishes like salmon, sardine and mackerels have exceptionally high omega 3 fatty acids. So, don’t forget to add fish to your next meal if you are a non-vegetarian!

3.Banana

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the banana is an underrated antidepressant! This is the best food for mood enhancement as it is the storehouse of many minerals and vitamins. Banana is particularly rich in vitamin B6 which helps in the secretion of dopamine – the primary hormone for lifting your moods. Bananas can be eaten both in raw and ripened form for deriving their mood-boosting benefits.

4. Fermented foods

Gut-friendly foods would always be mood-friendly! So, adding yoghurt, kimchi and kefir can greatly boost your digestive health. Foods that help in stomach issues positively impact your moods. Other than this, some gut-friendly microbes secrete mood-boosting hormones like ‘serotonin’ that play a vital role in relaxation and sleep.

Foods for mood

5. Berries

Including berries is similar to following a rainbow diet as they both come in all colours! These colourful berries are loaded with antioxidants which are highly necessary for maintaining good health. Especially pigments like anthocyanins (dark blue or purple-black coloured) are said to greatly help in reducing depression by 39%. Besides this, antioxidants make your skin look better which once again adds brownie points for mood upliftment.

6. Coffee

Coffee is the most preferred drink around the world when it comes to increasing one’s concentration and focus. Coffee would rank the highest if you consider foods for mood assistance as they are great stimulants. Though coffee is widely consumed for elevating good moods, overconsumption can cause anxiety or insomnia. Having two cups of coffee per day is a safer level for an average adult!

7. Oats

As discussed earlier, gut health decides your overall health, thereby indirectly influencing moods! Oats are loaded with fibres that can be highly beneficial for your gut microbiome. So, starting your day with oatmeals is the best when you are looking for foods for mood enhancement.

Some pro tips for boosting mood by foods

For lifting your moods by foods, not only the ‘eating’ matters but also the method of eating matters! Developing a healthy relationship with food is essential to feel satisfied and happy with foods,

  • Develop mindful eating – it prevents you from overeating and gastric issues, thereby increasing mood and energy levels. So, drop down your mobile phones for a while and just focus on your food next time while eating.

  • Avoid emotional or stressful eating – Eating while feeling sad or empty does no good for you even though it gives instant emotional comfort. Have some water and sleep for a while if you feel down rather than opening your refrigerator door.

Take-home points

  • Foods play a greater role in your mental health so you need to care about what you put into your system – some foods can boost your mood while others can slow you down.

  • Many people overeat for feeling good but it results in emotional and mindless eating. So, have portion control over your meals while having it for mood-boosting purposes.

  • Food like dark chocolates, fermented foods, bananas, oats, berries, nuts and coffee play a great role in lifting your moods.

  • Have a nutritious and balanced diet – A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.


FAQ on 7 food items that can boost your spirits.

1. What foods can you eat to make yourself happy?

Ans. Foods for mood upliftment are fish, dark chocolates, fermented foods, bananas, oats, berries, nuts and coffee. These foods are healthy besides being mood lifters.

2. What vitamins are mood-boosting foods?

Ans. Foods that are rich in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin B9 and vitamin D are good at mood-boosting. Instead of taking supplements, it is better to take foods that are rich in mood-boosting vitamins.

3. What are the nutrients in foods that can uplift the mood?

Ans. Foods that contain high amounts of chromium, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids can be a great addition to a good mood food list.

4. Are there any ‘happy pills’ that can get you in the mood?

Ans. Most Antidepressants are sold as ‘happy pills’ for boosting mood but having foods is the sustainable way of improving your mood.

Ans. High processed foods like fried items, refined sugars and carbohydrates can bring down your moods as they often make you overeat due to the presence of a high glycemic index.

6. What are some good mood foods for depression?

Ans. Fruits and vegetables are known to alleviate depression due to the presence of natural sugars. Try to include apples, bananas, grapes, citrus fruits, spinach, lettuce and kiwi into your diet for a better mood.

7. How to improve mood and energy by vegan foods?

Ans. Add more fruits, vegetables and nuts that can instantly work mood-boosting foods. Diets free of animal fats give a healthy gut microbiome that can improve mood and energy levels.


References

Linking Mood with Foods

Food, Mood and Good Health

Food and Nutrition related to Mental Health

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