We all know the maxim “you are what you eat,” but did you know that eating a healthy diet can improve your mood? Not only can nutritious food enhance your overall wellness, but research now shows direct links between diet and mental health.

Foods Will Make You Feel Your Best

Add these nine foods to your life to increase your wellness and boost your mood.

1.  Salmon

Salmon is the perfect fish to incorporate the much-needed omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Omega- 3 acids help your body increase brain cell development and may even lower your risk for depression.

Consume two servings of salmon a week, as recommended by the American Heart Association. You can serve it with some broccoli or green beans and even drizzle a healthy keto dressing over the fish to give it some additional flavor.

Following this advice will help you get the recommended dosage of omega-3 acids and lower your heart attack and stroke risk.

2.  Berries

Add this fruit to get a diet rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants can prevent oxidative stress and simultaneously lower the risk for heart disease. Additionally, berries of all kinds are high in fiber and Vitamin C. Berries are widely known to be mood food. In one study, regular consumption of blueberries lowered a study groups’ depression symptoms by 39%.

Try consuming fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes and goji berries whenever possible. If fresh isn’t an option, go with frozen to preserve the nutritional benefits.

3.  Beans

Eat more beans to boost protein and fiber in your diet. Beans like chickpeas, black, kidney and pinto beans are known for their high levels of Vitamin B. Consuming this vitamin improves mood by assisting the brain increase production of serotonin and dopamine, all crucial for mood regulation. When you regularly eat beans, you can help your brain increase these neurotransmitters, which are the frontline defense against mental illness.

4.  Lobster

Try eating lobster tail to consume omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to help with mood regulation. Lobster is also a great source of protein and Vitamin D.

There are many ways you can cook lobster tail. Consider steaming, boiling, grilling, baking, broiling or smoking them. Just try not to use excessive butter on your lobster to keep your meal a bit healthier. 

5.  Quinoa

Incorporate this ancient grain into your menu to experience its many benefits, including – high protein, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, folate, iron, zinc, iron, and potassium. Another advantage of quinoa is that it’s completely gluten-free and non-genetically modified.

Fiber is a great option to incorporate into your diet if you’re trying to lose weight, as it helps with the sensation of fullness. This sensation of keeping you full for longer does much to affect your mood, boosting levels of serotonin in your brain.  Additionally, soluble fiber can help with lowering cholesterol, as well as reducing blood sugar levels.  

6.  Bananas

Add a banana lunch before you head out the door for work. This fruit is a wonderful source of prebiotics, making it fantastic for your gut and overall digestion. Bananas are an excellent option for fruit because of their high fiber and sugar ratio. Because of the banana’s fiber, its level of sugar is released gradually into your bloodstream. This stabilizes blood sugar levels and improves mood. Also, it prevents sugar crashes that occur when consuming sugar-heavy foods like donuts.  

7.  Oats

Rather than grabbing a granola bar for breakfast, make time for whole grain oats. High in fiber, oats will keep your stomach filled all morning long. You’ll also find you have plenty of energy to get through your morning routine, boosting your mood.

Whole grain oats are additionally high in iron. Anemia is one of the most common iron deficiencies and is often associated with fatigue and mood disorders. Try adding whole grain oats like oatmeal, muesli or granola, to your diet if you have a history of iron deficiency.

8.  Nuts

Incorporating nuts in your diet will boost plant-based proteins, a healthy level of fat and protein. Tryptophan is one beneficial amino acid that increases the production of serotonin. You can find tryptophan in almonds, walnuts, peanuts and cashews. Zinc and selenium, nutrients crucial for healthy brain function, are abundant in Brazil nuts, almonds and pine nuts.

To gain these many health benefits related to nuts, try snacking on low salted almonds or peanuts. You could also try sprinkling walnuts or cashews on salads.

9.  Probiotic Yogurt

Fermented foods like yogurt present many nutritional benefits specifically for a healthy gut. Yogurt is high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, and Vitamin B-12. It is thought to reduce high blood pressure and is linked to improving bone density in older adults. One study found that regular consumption of yogurt lowered body weight, led to a smaller waist circumference and less body fat.

When choosing a yogurt, ensure you select a probiotic with live cultures. Many yogurts destroy these cultures during production. Getting a probiotic yogurt will help you get a beneficial amount of daily bacteria, improving your digestion and overall health and wellness.

Foods to Improve Your Health and Wellness

When you select healthy food for your diet, you do yourself a favor, improving your essential nutrition and boosting your mental health. Try any of these mood foods to start seeing a positive change today!