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April 4, 2024

Dietitian reveals the foods to eat which will help boost your mood

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 1:04 pm

We have known for some time that certain foods can have a big impact on how we feel on a day-to-day basis.

While some foods like dark chocolate or coffee may instantly give us an energy hit, we now understand that our general mood is influenced much more powerfully by our daily food patterns. Different nutrients work together to influence the health of the gut and the production of the key neurotransmitters that directly impact mood and mental health.

So, as we move into the cooler months, here are some key foods to focus on, and some to avoid if your goal is to keep your mood and mental health on track.

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Healthy eating. Plate with vegan or vegetarian food. Healthy plant based diet. Healthy dinner. Buddha bowl with fresh vegetables. High quality photo


Containing some of the highest amounts of omega 3 fats of any fresh food, bumping up your intake of oily fish including Atlantic salmon, sardines (if you like them) and tuna is a must if your goal is to optimise your mood.

Numerous studies show that individuals who consume high amounts of the special fats, DHA and EPA, found in most oily fish are less likely to suffer from mood disturbance. These specific fats are known to help regulate the neurotransmitters that regulate mood.

While salmon is especially rich in these special fats, all seafood is a smart dietary addition through the winter months, offering a range of essential nutrients including Vitamin D as well as small amounts of Omega-3 fat.

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Close up shot of an Asian Chinese woman eating pan fried salmon with table knife and fork in cafe

Nuts and seeds

It has been known for some time that including a handful of nutrient rich nuts and seeds in the diet each day adds protein, good fats, selenium and Vitamin E to the diet.

Specifically, when it comes to mood, nuts are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is involved in the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone.

Seeds and some nuts including walnuts and pepitas are also some of the richest natural sources of the plant-based form of Omega-3 fat.


Bananas are especially rich in the B group vitamin, Vitamin B6, with a single banana offering almost 1/3 of your entire daily recommended intake of Vitamin B6 – a nutrient that is involved in the production of a number of neurotransmitters, including serotonin which is involved in mood regulation.

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hand peeling banana

There is also growing research to show that supplementing with Vitamin B6 may help to improve the symptoms of anxiety and low mood, which is even more reason to include a banana a day in your diet, especially at this time of year.

Fermented foods

As our understanding of nutrition grows, it becomes increasingly clear that the health of our gut plays a significant role on our overall health and well-being.

This means that nourishing our gut with the right types of dietary fibre, as well as feeding it with live cultures to keep our bacterial balance healthy, is one of the most powerful ways we can help to support immune function, mental health and well-being.

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Healthy breakfast: anonymous woman making oatmeal with Greek yoghurt, raspberries, strawberries and a banana, a close up.

This means that a daily serve of fermented foods, such as kefir, yoghurts with probiotics or supplementary probiotic foods are an easy, yet powerful way to support optimal mood as well as digestive function.

And to avoid at all costs

While there are a handful of good mood superfoods, it is important to remember that it is not only about adding certain foods to our diet, but also minimising our intake of the foods associated with poorer mood.

Specifically, there is a strong relationship between a high intake of ultra-processed foods, like fried and fast food, processed snacks, biscuits, cakes, pastry and soft drink, and an increased risk of depression.

Ultra processed food also increases systematic inflammation in the body and, as such, the less we consume in general the better.

It is best to enjoy processed treats and takeaway food at most a couple of times each week, as opposed to multiple serves per day.

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