Top 5 mood-boosting foods to add to your diet
Heads up—the foods we eat affect far more than just our physical health. As it turns out, our diet also plays a pretty big role in our overall mood as well. We’re breaking down how food affects your mood, and what you need to munch more on to keep your energy and your mood high all day long.
How Food Affects Your Mood
Ok, so let’s break this down. Here are three ways food affects your mood.
#1 Blood Sugar & Mood: The first thing you need to know is that your food choices affect your blood sugar. Sugary and processed foods are bound to cause a sudden spike and then crash in blood sugar, causing irritability, and leaving you feeling downright lousy.
On the flip side, consuming nutrient-dense, whole foods that are low in sugar and high in fiber (aka plants) will help keep your blood sugar levels stable, leaving your mood even keel throughout the day isn’t that what we all want?) The bottom line is that balanced blood sugar equals balanced mood and energy.
While we’re on the topic of blood sugar, it’s also important to keep up with your meals throughout the day. Try not to skip meals, and enjoy those nutrient-dense healthy snacks if you’re hungry in between meals! Not skipping meals is a key part of keeping your blood sugar and energy levels stable, and ultimately will help keep your mood more upbeat. Hey, no one’s happy when they’re hungry, right?
#2 Vitamins: There are also some vitamins that can help support a better mood. For example, B vitamins are super important for turning all that nutritious plant-based foods we’re eating into energy our bodies can use. Folate and B12 may also help support a better mood. To give your body a boost, try adding some broccoli, dark leafy greens, lentils, and oatmeal to your diet.
#3 Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids, like omega-3’s, are also most commonly known for their brain and even mood-boosting benefits. The good news is that there are some great plant-based sources of omega-3’s to help supercharge your diet (check out our favorite plant-based omega-3 rich food below).
The Top 5 Mood-Boosting Foods to Add to Your Diet
So we get that our food choices affect our mood, but what foods should you be adding to your diet to feel upbeat and full of energy all day?
Here are our top five favorite mood-boosting foods to add to your plant-based diet.
#1 Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making them a great snack or salad topper to support a better mood.
#2 Dark Leafy Greens: We all could benefit from adding more greens to our diet, and like mentioned before, greens are a great source of folate, an important B vitamin for mood and energy support.
#3 Fiber-Rich Foods: Fiber is going to help stabilize blood sugar levels, a key player in preventing that “hangry” mood we all get from time to time. Consider adding fiber-rich plant foods to your diet like oats, lentils, chickpeas, pears, apples, and broccoli.
#4 Fermented Foods: Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso are loaded with probiotics to help support a healthy gut, and we know that a healthy gut is key for supporting a better mood. So, consider adding more of these to your diet to give your gut and your brain a boost.
#5 Coffee: Coffee lovers, this one’s for you. If you can’t live without your morning cup of joe, here’s one more good reason to keep brewing that cup. Studies have found that coffee may lower the risk of depression. So, go ahead and make yourself a vegan latte with some full-fat coconut milk for an energizing and mood-boosting start to your diet.
Choose Foods For a Better Mood
There you have it—five foods that boost mood, and the reasons behind why your food choices are so important for balancing your overall mood. So, keep eating all the plants, and remove as much sugar and processed foods from your diet as you can.
With a plant-based diet that’s rich in these five foods, you may find yourself feeling just a little more cheerful as you go about your day.