Feel Happier! 5 Foods to Eat for a Better Mood

| 5/25/2011 4:10:13 PM

Do you always feel like you’re waking up on the wrong side of the bed? A sour disposition can be blamed on a number of things, but it’s also possible that your unhappiness is a byproduct of your diet. Moods can be a reflection of our overall health, and an unhealthy diet can take its toll on our mental health—so naturally a healthy diet can improve our mood!

Certain vitamins and minerals play a key role in boosting happiness and improving our moods. Omega-3 fatty acids maintain good mental health by helping the brain more efficiently transport serotonin and dopamine. B vitamins, especially vitamins B12 and folate (B9), are also vital to good mental health as they help maintain healthy nerve cells and contribute to the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, which allows us to feel pleasure.

frozen chocolate-banana smoothie 
Bananas contain natural sugars to pep you up, protein to sustain your energy, and B vitamins to promote good mental health. Photo By Joe Lavine. 

Blood sugar also affects your mood. If your blood sugar is stable, your mood is likely to follow suit. But if your blood sugar levels swing from high to low throughout the day, you’re probably in store for some mood swings as well! Eating regularly throughout the day (every four to five hours or so), avoiding refined sugars and carbohydrates, and choosing foods with fiber and protein will help stabilize your blood sugar.

For a better mood, try eating these five foods.

Bananas: This fruit has a lot going for it. Bananas stabilize blood sugar. The natural sugars in the banana will provide a quick energy boost, which the banana’s fiber will sustain throughout the day, preventing a spike and then a crash in your blood sugar levels. Bananas also contain B vitamins.