Full of protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fats, pistachios are a great snack with a low glycemic load. This means that when you eat them, they help stabilize blood sugar as well as blood sugar spikes that affect mood. As an added benefit, unsaturated fats in pistachios lower cholesterol and encourage heart health.
Another benefit for mood is the tryptophan in pistachios. Tryptophan is synthesized by the body to produce the hormone serotonin. Pistachios are also full of B vitamins that provide the body with the energy they need to carry out tasks like synthesizing serotonin. There’s any energy boost for your brain, too.
Peanut butter is another source of tryptophan that helps regulate the hormones serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin manages mood and melatonin encourages sleep, which is important for mental health. Peanut butter is also full of potassium and magnesium that regulate fluids so hormones travel from areas like the gut and the thyroid to the brain.
Peanut butter contains natural sugars, as well as nutrients like iron, protein, fats, and fiber that give your body sustainable energy. The natural sweetness can also be used to curb carb cravings and stabilize blood sugar so you don’t have mood swings. This makes it a great choice for breakfast.
Almonds are full of polyunsaturated fats that help the body release serotonin and polyphenols that stop the brain from experiencing signs of aging, whether from old age or chronic mental illness. Polyunsaturated fats also help stabilize mood and improve digestive health, two things that help with mental health and your overall sense of well-being.
Another benefit of almonds is their high tryptophan content, which assists the body in producing serotonin. For the most benefit, you’ll want to soak and peel almonds before eating them. The brown coating on the outside of almonds contains tannins that stop the body from absorbing all those nutrients found in them, particularly the polyunsaturated fats.
One of the biggest benefits for mood when it comes to raspberries is their anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are found in a lot of different berries and raspberries contain a high dose. These antioxidants are known for their ability to encourage the brain to release “feel-good” hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
Raspberries are also an incredible anti-inflammatory and protect the cells and brain from oxidative damage. While oxidative damage happens naturally as you age, it also worsens with mental health problems and stress. Raspberries in particular have one of the greatest antioxidant content of fruit. It’s even ten times greater than what you’d find in a tomato.
Matcha is another superfood that can boost mood because of its high antioxidant content. The antioxidants found in matcha are called catechins. Catechins fight inflammation throughout the body and improve blood flow. Better blood flow means it’s easier for the energizing effects of matcha to start working.
Matcha is energizing because it contains a small amount of caffeine and energy-boosting L-Theanine. L-Theanine encourages the brain to release serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, all of them working to boost mood. The neurotransmitter is also known for helping with stress response and relaxation, though it does contain some caffeine. This helps you relax without getting drowsy.
Wine offers some of the same benefits as kefir because it’s a fermented product full of probiotics that feed the good bacteria in the gut. It’s also full of antioxidants that fight oxidation and inflammation. Wine even offers protection from conditions like Alzheimer’s. Wine quality matters, though. Natural wine contains probiotics while most commercial wines have them filtered out.
A glass of wine is also a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day. While excessive drinking has risks, drinking wine a few nights each week improves mood and mental health by reducing stress. Stress affects things like how we handle problems, mood stability, and our ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Like many other nuts on this list, cashews contain depression-fighting tryptophan that helps boost mood stability and serotonin production. Their high level of magnesium also supports thyroid health. Plus, cashews have lots of B vitamins that boost metabolism and provide energy to send mood-stabilizing hormones where they need to go.
Research shows that just a handful or two of cashews is more than enough tryptophan to help stabilize mood, as well as people with anxiety and depression. Some other benefits include improved cholesterol, heart health, and blood sugar levels because of the healthy fats. Cashews also contain fiber that supports digestive health.
Figs are a powerhouse of nutrients and also contain pectin, which absorbs cholesterol from the bloodstream and removes it from the body as waste. Veins are wider with cholesterol out of the way, which keeps blood flowing and makes it easier for your body to get nutrients and mood-boosting hormones where they need to go.
Figs also contain tryptophan, which helps with hormone production and benefits sleep. Sleep is critical to positive mood and mental health because it’s important for the body feeling rested enough to carry out tasks on a cellular level. Figs also have high fiber content that prevents mood swings associated with fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Watermelon is incredibly hydrating, being made up of 92% water. In addition to water, this fruit contains electrolytes including potassium and magnesium. As electrolytes balance fluid levels in the body, it’s easier for nutrients and important mood-balancing hormones to be moved around as they should.
Despite being low in calories, watermelon is also full of Vitamin A and important amino acids that affect hormone production. It also contains fiber to encourage digestive health, natural sugars for a boost of energy, and amino acids tha help wih the production of hormones. Watermelon also contains Vitamin B6, which helps boost mood in individuals with deficiencies.
One of the biological causes of depression is the presence of certain inflammatory compounds in the brain. Researchers are not yet sure what causes this inflammation, however, it is known the antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes reduces these compounds. Lycopene is responsible for giving tomatoes their red color.
Tomatoes also promote a healthy gut microbiome and digestive tract because of their fiber content. They also contain vitamins and minerals that support the production of happy hormones, including iron, folate, Vitamin B6, and magensium. Their natural sugars and B vitamins are also great for an energy boost.
Tropical fruits like guava are typically associated with being good for immunity because of their high Vitamin C content. However, these antioxidants also work to fight inflammation through the body. Guava also contains plenty of B vitamins that give the cells energy to do what they need to do, including regulating your mood.
Eating guava also gives you a dose of many different micronutrients that play a big role in how the body produces hormones that regulate mood. Guava also contains magnesium that supports the thyroid for hormone health. It also has lots of fiber for digestive and gut health.
Beetroot is full of powerful pigments that work to detoxify the body. The buildup of certain toxins and heavy metals happens naturally over time from exposure to things in the food we eat and our environment. Many of these cause problems like poor mood, anxiety, depression, and mood disorders.
Beetroot is also high in fiber to help move those toxins along the digestive tract. In addition to getting rid of bad toxins that cause problems with mood, beetroot is high in betaine. Betaine regulates hormones in the body and is involved in the synthesis of serotonin. By raising serotonin levels, mood naturally improves.
As we’ve learned already, there are a lot of micronutrient deficiencies that cause mood imbalance and worsen symptoms of anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Swiss chard is full of vitamins, minerals, and various micronutrients that the body needs to keep functioning as it should. This makes it a great added vegetable for a big nutritional punch.
In addition to helping prevent vitamin deficiencies, swiss chard also contains selenium, B-vitamins, and other nutrients important to hormone synthesis. It has a high fiber content that supports gut health and the selenium is beneficial to thyroid health. Plus, Swiss chard is rich in B vitamins that provide energy.
Keeping a steady energy level through the day plays a big role in mood, especially since blood sugar spikes also cause highs and lows. Raisins contain 29 grams of natural sugar in a single cup, making them a great choice for a pick-me-up. Plus, they are full of fiber that digests slowly and helps sustain, all while promoting digestive tract health.
Raisins are also full of nutrients like iron and calcium, minerals like magnesium and selenium, and powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation. Iron and calcium support healthy red blood cells while antioxidants improve bloodflow. Magnesium and selenium have been closely linked to mood because of their influence on the thyroid as well.
Apricots contain lycopene like tomatoes. Lycopene reduces reduces levels of inflammatory markers found in the brain that have been linked to depression. They also benefit mood because of their tryptophan content, which the body synthesizes into serotonin. Furthermore, the antioxidant powers fight inflammation to improve bloodflow and move serotonin where it needs to go.
Apricot is also full of digestive fiber that keeps your gut healthy. It’s high content of B vitamins and natural sugars make apricots a great mid-day snack to boost your mood naturally. Plus, the iron found in apricots is critical in the production of red blood cells and preventing anemia, which can result in mental symptoms like worsened anxiety and depression.