6 Foods That Can Improve Your Mood

6 Foods That Can Improve Your Mood

We’ve all got that ‘go to’ food that we reach for to cheer us up, or help get us through a tough time.

This is because it provides us with a short term emotional lift, it can help release serotonin which is a chemical messenger between nerve cells.

However, from what can be a short term pleasure seeking 15 minutes fueled by ice cream real nutritional foods can offer a much longer term benefit, and it is what researchers have been trying to establish: which foods offer long term cognitive function and overall increases in mood.


Time and time again we look towards the Mediterranean diet for inspiration.

There’s plenty of evidence that points toward the Mediterranean diet being able to lower heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The same diet also seems to improve mood, improved cognitive function and ward off depression.


It will come as no surprise that natural and whole foods that are free from being processed are what is key.
Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, olive oil, and lean meats are the order of the day. These whole foods are full of great nutritional benefits and free from preservatives, sugar and saturated fats.

These nourishing foods provide the brain with the correct nutrients which can not only help boost serotonin for your mood but also the vitamins feed the brain to ensure it is running properly.

These vitamins cut stress and reduce cellular damage to the brain cells as well as acting as antioxidants.

A nutritional plan which harnesses much of the traditional Mediterranean diet but with more emphasis on berries, green leaves and nuts has shown to improve cognitive function and roll back the years on brain ‘age’.

Essentially people who followed this plan known as the MIND Diet have showed in studies that their cognitive abilities are the equivalent of being 7.5 years younger in age compared to those not following the same plan.

Sticking to this MIND Diet also lowered the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 53%.


The studies in to the Mediterranean diet have found that there isn’t a singular super food we can hang our hopes on.

Our mood and cognitive health will rely on a breadth of healthy, unprocessed, natural foods for improved brain health and function.

Steer clear of fairly recent Western diets that have embroiled our lives due to their convenience and ‘taste’.

These processed foods filled with additives and preservatives laden with salt and refined sugars have been blamed for the effects of depression. an increased risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

RELATED: Supplements containing the required vitamins for optimal brain health

If you chose to adhere to the Mediterranean diet of the MIND Diet be sure to avoid candy, treats such as pastries, margarine, butter and fast foods including red meats.

Below are six foods that can be eaten to help maintain a healthy brain.


A diet high in omega-3-rich fish tend to have a lower risk of depression with a much more positive outlook. This can be translated to a better mood and feelings of joy.


Good bacteria not only helps with digestive health but also lower stress levels combined with a more positive mental outlook compared to those who do not consume probiotics.

Leafy greens

The levels of Magnesium contained in leafy greens such as spinach can positively impact serotonin levels and boost your mood.

Shockingly about 50% of Americans are deficient of the required levels of Magnesium. This deficiency has been linked to increased levels of depression and anxiety.

You could also include pumpkin seeds to your green salads as they are packed with Magnesium,

Brazil nuts, chick peas and beans also makes great additions to meal times.

I am actually eating a green leafy salad as I type.


A positive mood has been associated with those who eat berries or drink their juice.

Berries are packed with antioxidants known as flavonoids, they help activate brain pathways and help prevent cellular aging which can improve cognitive health.


High in Zinc, Oysters can help fight off depression plus help maintain healthy testosterone levels (for both men and women).

Zinc isn’t stored by the body and must be consumed daily. You can also eat chickpeas, cashew nuts and crab meat to top up your levels of this vital mineral.


Rejoice. For many chocolate is a more than just a treat, and now it can be eaten guilt free.

Studies have indicated that bad moods can be eradicated by cocoa and it can also protect against depression.

Ensure you choose dark chocolate to minimize sugar intake and limit yourself to a couple of squares per day.

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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