Food and Mood
Clean Eating,  Depression,  Healthy Eating,  Weight

Food and Mood

8 Foods That Can Help Improve Your Mood

Your food doesn’t just impact your waistline, it can also affect your mood. Consider that everything you eat is broken down and absorbed by your body. Of course, it can certainly have an effect on your mood. The food you eat impacts how you feel, so let’s dig into food and mood.

Just to give you an example, consider for a moment how eating a piece of chocolate impacts your mood differently than eating a plain baked potato. Pretty different, right?

See how what you put into your body matters to your body and your mind:

Fermented foods – Fermented foods are great for the health of the good bacteria in your gut. There is evidence that these bacteria play an important part in mental and physical health. Some examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, yogurt, tempeh, and kombucha. If none of those foods appeal to you, there are over the counter probiotic supplements that are likely to provide the same benefit. This is a link to the combo of pre and probiotics I take every day to keep my gut healthy:

Salmon – Not only salmon, but other cold-water fatty fish including mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown in some studies to boost health. Be mindful of how often you eat tuna as it does tend to have a higher mercury content than some of the other fish.

Chocolate – Talk about food and mood, it only takes one bite of chocolate to know that it makes you feel better than you did right before eating it. Dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (70% or higher) is actually quite healthy when eaten in moderation and can give your mood a great boost. Chocolate also reduces cortisol too, which is a primary indicator of stress.

Leafy green vegetables – Including green leafy vegetables in your diet can significantly contribute to improving your mood, reducing anxiety and overall mental well-being. These vibrant greens, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are rich in essential nutrients like folate, magnesium, and vitamin C. Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is crucial for the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play key roles in regulating mood and promoting feelings of happiness. Magnesium, on the other hand, has been linked to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, as it helps relax both your body and your mind. The high antioxidant content in green leafy vegetables helps combat inflammation and oxidative stress, which are often associated with mood disorders. Incorporating these vegetables into your meals not only nourishes your body but also supports your mental health. So, make sure to add a generous portion of leafy greens to your plate and savor the benefits they bring to your mood and emotional well-being. They’re delicious and there’s no down-side to eating them, so they’re a real win-win! As a general rule, the darker greens like spinach are healthier than lighter greens like lettuce. Try a mixture of greens to get the greatest benefit.

Nuts – Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, proteins, and even some fiber. The most important nutrient found in nuts regarding mood is tryptophan which is used to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is one of the positive-mood brain chemicals.
Fruit. Bananas in particular have been shown to boost mood, but all fruits are worth trying out as a mood enhancer. Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and can give your blood sugar a boost.

Coffee – Caffeine in moderation can certainly boost your mood, but there’s a lot more to coffee than just caffeine. Coffee is loaded with a variety of naturally occurring chemicals that are quite healthy and good for your mood. You can even skip the caffeine and consume decaf and get a similar mood-boosting effect.

Green Tea – Like coffee, green tea can be a healthy beverage that also boosts your mood. One of the chemicals found in green tea that induces calmness is EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate. The small amount of caffeine found in green tea is also good for your mood, but there’s more good news about it.

Drinking green tea can have a positive impact on your mood, thanks to its numerous beneficial properties. Packed with antioxidants and amino acids, such as L-theanine, green tea promotes relaxation and reduces stress levels. L-theanine, in particular, is known to increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that play a vital role in regulating mood and promoting feelings of happiness and well-being. Consuming green tea can also provide a gentle energy boost without the jittery side effects often associated with coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Additionally, the ritual of preparing and sipping a warm cup of green tea can be calming in itself, allowing for moments of mindfulness and self-care. Incorporating green tea into your daily routine may contribute to a more balanced and uplifted mood, enhancing your overall mental well-being.

Oysters – Many people are low in zinc and oysters are loaded with zinc. There are a couple of studies that show eating oysters regularly reduces anxiety and depression. Oysters are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids and many vitamins.


If your mood is less upbeat than you’d like, changing your diet might have a positive impact. The foods you eat have an effect on your mood, focus, and emotional health. To get started in the right direction of food and mood, consider eating at least one food each day that is likely to have a positive impact on your mood.

Track how your mood is influenced by the foods you eat. It won’t take long before you know which foods to eat and which to avoid. It’s a process, and it can be different for everyone.

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!


Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Cheryl A Major, CNWC


I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you! If you’re new to the world of creating better health, both mental and physical for yourself, please check out my training on how to get gluten out of your diet. Becoming Gluten Free Me is where to check it out. Learn how gluten affects us and how to go about reducing or eliminating it from your diet. You don’t have to suffer with Celiac Disease to benefit from getting gluten out of your life!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you won’t miss my daily postings for health, wellness and mindset!






    • Cheryl Major

      Hi Lauren, I eat a good amount of canned fish, so yes, that’s an option for sure. With smoked oysters, you need to be mindful of what kind of oil they’re using. Reading labels is always important. Often it’s cotton seed oil. They don’t seem to realize cotton is not a food. It is cheap though. 😉 Cheryl

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