Foods That Can Boost Your Mood

May 22, 2023

Nearly 1 in 5 U.S adults experienced a mental health condition in 2020.  It’s on the rise for young adults with an estimated 31% of those between ages 18 and 25.  Since a mental health diagnosis may impact an individual’s daily life, it’s often wondered the link between nutrition and mood.


There have been a few diets tested to help understand a link to the study of the role that nutrition plays in the etiology of mental health problems as well as their treatment. 



Here are a few things we know: 


Studies have found that diets void of processed and refined foods and sugars, which are staples of the “Western” dietary pattern have been beneficial. Most studies on this topic dietary patterns such as  Mediterranean, Western and Japanese diets. 



The Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lower risk of depression or depressive symptoms.  On the other hand, saturated fats and refined carbohydrates in a typical Western Diet may induce inflammation and oxidative stress, disturb gut microbiome and gut–brain interaction.  Adherence to a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and typical Japanese foods including mushrooms, seaweeds, soybean products, and green tea is associated with a lower probability of having depressive symptoms.


3 Foods that Stand Out


Fish contains what’s called omega- 3 fatty acids, which our bodies cannot make on their own.  It’s been found by some studies to be a mood booster.  Regularly eating salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and other fatty fish-can help lower anxiety, research shows.  Eating fish once or twice a week may also help reduce the risk of other chronic conditions like stroke.






Green Tea
Flavonoids are what make this beverage some of the health benefits.  These act as antioxidants which help attack free radicals in the body.  It’s best to drink green tea without add-ins like milk or honey to maintain the flavonoid integrity. 






Yogurt with Probiotics
 It might not be written on the front of the package, but most yogurts are full of probiotics.  They are the part of the ingredients that are sometimes called live active cultures.  These help keep your gut bacteria healthy, which has been linked to better mental health and improved mood. Check the ingredients when choosing between yogurts and look for probiotics on the list. 

The Author

Laura Cason, B.S., R.D., L.D.N.

Laura has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Kansas State University. She did her Dietetic Internship at Loyola University Chicago. She is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She is a Licensed Dietitian in Illinois and a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. Laura is a former marketing professional turned Registered Dietitian with a heightened passion for helping others. She has extensive experience working with clients seeking assistance with weight. With a background in the corporate setting, she has can empathize with those who work in these environments which often come with stress highs and lows. She helps her clients understand how to eat in order to feel good, boost energy, and be comfortable without restriction or obsessing. Laura believes in forming a partnership with her clients providing them with the tools to succeed and accountability to increase success rate. In her spare time, Laura enjoys cooking, working out, traveling, and beach volleyball.

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