It's probably a pretty obvious statement: eat shit, feel like shit. Eat well, feel well. As reductive as this advice sounds, it's also incredibly accurate and echoes the sentiment of a more familiar adage: you are what you eat.
Eating clean, whole foods is the easiest and most effective way to feel great, and while all whole foods can help you feel happier, some are more important than others.
Why? Because these are the ones we often don't get enough of in our diets. In other words, in and of themselves, the mood boosting foods listed here aren't superior to other whole, healthy foods. But, they do contain often overlooked macro and micronutrients we need to be happy and healthy.
If you’re really struggling to understand how to eat a balanced diet, we encourage you to pick up our Nutrition Guide and Meal Plan. Not only does this guide give you all the intel you need to start making healthy and informed dietary choices (no deprivation required) but it’s also packed over 70+ delicious recipes so you can see all that information in action.
Read on. Here are the top 3 foods to improve mood.
1. Oily Fish
Sardines, salmon and mackerel are all excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which are vital to mental health. These fatty acids make up a substantial percentage of our brain tissue. In fact, your brain's dry weight is 60% fat, and 30% of that fat is in the form of omega 3.
Consuming enough omega 3 fatty acids will keep your brain cells nourished and robust, so that your brain can function at peak.
How much? Try eating a minimum of one serving (140 g) of fatty fish a week. If you don't eat fish, opt for a supplement. There are vegan omega 3 supplements, too, made from concentrated algae and seaweed.
2. Brazil Nuts
All raw nuts are great for you, but why Brazil nuts in particular? They're rich in selenium, a mineral that when in short supply, can lead to fatigue, depression and anxiety. This makes these nationalist nuts a potent food to improve mood.
How much? 3 raw brazil nuts will do the trick, 2-3 times a week! Enjoy them with a piece of fruit as a snack, or toss 'em in a smoothie.
Say hello to this beautiful legume! Lentils are among the most potent foods to improve mood. They're an abundant source of complex carbs, so they can help your brain produce more serotonin--a major good-vibe neurotransmitter. Lentils also balance blood sugar levels, which help even out moods.
One more thing: lentils are rich in folate, and folate deficiency has been linked to mania and depression.
How much? Aim to include lentils in your diet 3 times a week. 1/2 a cup to soups, stews, pasta or chili is all it takes to reap the rewards.Again, these foods aren’t the best foods to improve mood because they are innately superior, but because they contain nutrients many of us lack in our modern diets. Remember that Nutrition Guide and Meal Plan we talked about earlier? If you grab that guide, you’ll get recipes for dozens of dishes that include all these feel-good foods. It’s an easy, no-brainer way to fuel your body and brain for optimal wellness.