Mood-boosting lingo (you can do it…sound familiar?) may be part of a product's appeal. But actually being aware of what's in the food you eat and how it affects your brain and body is your best strategy for feeling good. Loading up on saturated fats can narrow your blood vessels and interfere with brain function, according to Mental Health America. In addition to reducing saturated fat and cholesterol intake, MHA also recommends limiting alcohol, which causes stress on your body, and cutting back on caffeine, which can make you nervous and restless and may even worsen depression. Trying to find a happy meal? You can do it. These mood-regulating ingredients and delicious recipes from our archives will help.
Dark chocolate: Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic, told me that chocolate is a great mood booster, acting as an antidepressant and mild stimulant.
Leafy greens: rich in folate, a B vitamin linked to mood disorders in people with deficiencies
Nuts and seeds: can contain mood-lifting omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium, which help relax the body and soothe the mind.
Fish and fish oil: offers niacin, an anxiety-relieving B vitamin.
Beans: stabilize glucose levels, a key factor in mood swings
Whole-grain pasta: carbohydrates (stick with healthy whole grains) can boost the body chemical serotonin, creating a relaxed feeling