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THE BEST FOODS To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood
Most of us love eating. And not in an offhand, noncommittal kind of way. We love eating in a stand-outside-of-your-house-with-a-boombox kind of way. But food is more than just an activity to look forward to three (or more) times a day (is that just us, or … ?). Food actually has the power to change your mood — for the better.
How? By supporting neurotransmitter activity — or more specifically, dopamine and serotonin, which are the “feel good” hormones that stabilize your moods and activate the pleasure part of the brain. You mean we can eat our way to better moods and it’s actually rooted in science? We know — these aren’t cheap thrills, but it’s true: There actually are foods that feed your mood. So without further ado, here are 5 foods that can help you keep your sunny outlook.


If we had to write a list of our favorite vegetables, beets wouldn’t be on it. They just wouldn’t. But here’s the thing: We’ve been underestimating beets. They’re like the Gayle King of vegetables. Really. Beets, with their earthy semi-sweet taste, are packed with nutrients, look pretty in salads, and contain the chemicals and amino acids that can help improve your mood. Beets are loaded with betaine anhydrous, a compound found naturally in the body that helps break down harmful substances and increases S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) — another compound in the body that helps produce and regulate serotonin and dopamine. Beets also contain the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to dopamine and serotonin. See? Underrated. So load up on that beet salad, and get your happy on. Oh, and if you’re not really sure what goes in a beet salad (because hello, no one can be perfect), try beetroot hummus or beet chips.

Fatty Fish

Hello, yes. We know that it’s a common wedding menu option, and that it can help your heart and skin. But let’s just go ahead and add mood booster to that list of achievements. The omega-3s found in fatty fish, like salmon, are essential to your body and helpful for combating foul moods. In fact, some studies have suggested that omega-3s in fatty fish have been linked to lower levels of depression, as omega-3s lower inflammation and support healthy neurotransmitter activity. (Seeing a trend here? Neurotransmitters are everything.) The catch? You’ll need about 3 servings a week to get the benefits.


As you know, avocados are (and probably always will be) having a moment. At this point, they’re our main squeeze. They’re creamy, go perfectly with an omelette, and are a key component in the glorious witchcraft that is avocado toast. But the actual benefits of avocados? It’s a mere afterthought. Who knows. Who cares. Except you should. Because avocados are known for raising dopamine levels — and higher dopamine levels mean a happier you. Avocados are also a good source of folate, and since low levels of folate are linked to anxiety, we will definitely continue to be those millennials who dole out for avocado toast. Except now we can say it’s for our health.


Almonds are usually praised for their high protein count. But protein aside, they’re also high in magnesium — which means a calmer brain, something we all need if we’re going to continue to live in a global pandemic. In fact, lower levels of magnesium have been correlated with higher anxiety and depression, and half the U.S. population isn’t getting enough magnesium. Yikes. To keep yourself from being part of that statistic, throw some almonds into your snack drawer. We bet they will become deeply addictive once the calm kicks in.

Dark chocolate

This is arguably one of the best foods on this list if you’ve got a raging sweet tooth. And yes, we could start with adding all the above foods into our diets regularly — but baby steps, okay? So we’re starting here, because we love everything sweet, and studies have shown that dark chocolate (make sure it’s got 70% of cacao) relieves stress, among a long laundry list of brain benefits. We don’t know about you, but less stress means better moods for us — which means more selfies, which means better Instagram content. We don’t make the rules.

Okay, we’re convinced. Eating our way to a healthy mood is doable, delicious — and when you throw in the dark chocolate, downright magical. So the next time you throw four chocolates in your cart and are met with side-eye from the checkout guy, carry on and know that you’re doing it for your mood —- which is essentially an act of public service.