Can what you eat actually improve your mood?
And… a more POSITIVE MOOD is associated with all sorts of benefits such as being more productive, more creative, more energetic, and more motivated to practice healthy habits like exercise, drink water, meditate, and get enough sleep.
So… what specifically can you eat to boost your mood? I recently did a radio interview on this topic & came up with a new ACRONYM of foods to eat to boost your mood (and it’s so easy to remember)…
And here’s what H.A.P.P.Y. stands for…
H: HEALTHY FATS
Aim to include a healthy fat at each meal such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, or extra virgin olive oil because they are essential for brain health. And… aim to eat at least 2 fatty fish meals per week because fish contains EPA + DHA omega 3 fats, which are known to reduce inflammation and improve mood.
✨TRY THIS: The best fish for EPA + DHA omega 3’s are: “SMASHT” FISH which stands for salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, tuna. HERE are 7 easy ways to eat “SMASHT” FISH.
A: A LITTLE DARK CHOCOLATE
The cocoa flavonoids in dark chocolate may help with stress, mood, and immunity. Studies presented at the Experimental Biology annual conference a few years ago found the best choice is about 1.5 ounces of at least 70% dark chocolate for mood & immunity benefits.
✨TRY THIS: HERE are 6 ways to enjoy chocolate for breakfast (yes, it can be nourishing to eat chocolate first thing in the morning!)
A review of 61 research studies in the journal Nutrients found that
eating produce daily is essential for mental wellness. People who eat 3 cups of vegetables + 2 cups of fruits daily have better: mood, optimism, confidence, stress levels, quality of life, life satisfaction, self-esteem, creativity, and happiness. Whoa.
✨TRY THIS: Get my FRUIT & VEGGIE tracker HERE. As you eat produce throughout the day, mark it off. Daily goal = 3 cups veggie + 2 cups fruit for a mood boost!
Heard of being “hangry?” It’s being angry because you’re hungry and your blood sugar is low. Including protein foods at meals and snacks (like fish, beef, chicken, beans, eggs, and yogurt) help you feel full longer and blunt blood sugar crashes to keep irritability at bay.
✨TRY THIS: Are you getting optimal protein? HERE are ideas for a protein boost at meals and snacks.
Y: YOGURT & OTHER FERMENTED FOODS
Research suggests having a healthier gut can lead to a better mood. In fact, a new study found that adding 2-3 daily servings of fermented foods (like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha) to a healthy diet was associated with lower stress levels.
✨TRY THIS: Fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented veggie juice & kombucha. HERE are fun ways to enjoy them daily.