5 foods to boost your mood 

blow of colorful berries

It’s normal for the occasional lousy mood to leave you elbow deep in a bag of chips (no judgement here). When we’re feeling sour, it’s natural to reach for sweets, a salty snack or some other comfort food. But while these tasty treats might help you fight off a case of the hangry-s, they don’t do a lot for your long-term happiness. Luckily, there are certain foods that can help you keep those blahs at bay for the long haul. If you’re done with that post-donut downswing, this is a list you’re going to want to keep on lock.  

1) Oatmeal  

Looking to start your morning with a little pep in your step? Oatmeal delivers a one-two punch to keep your mental health in check. It’s chock full of l-tryptophan, an amino acid your body uses to make serotonin, your brain’s feel-good hormone. It also contains a hearty dose of fiber, which is linked to a healthy gut. And you know the classic saying: happy gut, happy life, right? Having healthy bacteria in your gut may leave you less likely to have certain mood-related disorders.  

2) Red Peppers 

Roasted, stuffed, or chopped up in a stir fry, this tasty veggie is a total crowd pleaser—and not just because it can be tossed into basically any dish. Thanks to their high vitamin C content, red peppers may help give your mood a little lift. While the particulars aren’t well understood, your brain uses vitamin C for many biological processes, and it’s been linked to quicker recovery from mental stress and a positive mood.    

3) Blackberries  

That summer blackberry crumble is doing more than satisfying your sweet tooth. Blackberries are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavanols that play a role in mood regulation. High intake of berries has been associated with a positive effect on mood and may even play a role in working memory. Add some berries to your yogurt or try throwing frozen berries in a smoothie.    

4) Salmon  

Salmon is a great source of vitamin D, a hormone-like vitamin that plays a role in mood regulation. One palm-sized filet of farmed Atlantic salmon (about 3.5 oz) contains roughly 66% of your daily needs. While eating vitamin D-rich foods, like salmon, isn’t going to give you an instant bump, getting your daily dose has been associated with a reducing negative moods in some people.  

5) Jerusalem Artichokes 

This nutty, creamy root vegetable makes an excellent mash that might even bring a smile to your face—literally! Jerusalem Artichokes contain inulin, a type of fiber that works like food for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Unlike other nutrients that work over a longer period of time to support a positive mood, inulin may help provide an instant mood lift.  

About Allie    

Allie has a master’s in nutrition science from Framingham State University. She has worked as a Health Educator and Personal Trainer, and has a passion for helping people lead happier, healthier lives.       

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.       
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.     


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  2. Forssten, Sofia D., et al. “One Giant Leap from Mouse to Man: The Microbiota–Gut–Brain Axis in Mood Disorders and Translational Challenges Moving towards Human Clinical Trials.” Nutrients 14.3 (2022): 568. 
  3. Moritz, Bettina, et al. “The role of vitamin C in stress-related disorders.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 85 (2020): 108459. 
  4. Bakoyiannis, Ioannis, et al. “Phytochemicals and cognitive health: Are flavonoids doing the trick?.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 109 (2019): 1488-1497. 
  5. Cheng, Ying‐Chih, Yu‐Chen Huang, and Wei‐Lieh Huang. “The effect of vitamin D supplement on negative emotions: A systematic review and meta‐analysis.” Depression and anxiety 37.6 (2020): 549-564. 
  6. Smith, Andrew P., David Sutherland, and Paul Hewlett. “An investigation of the acute effects of oligofructose-enriched inulin on subjective wellbeing, mood and cognitive performance.” Nutrients 7.11 (2015): 8887-8896. 

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