The 7 Best “Good Mood” Foods

best good mood foodsYou’re cranky, you’re tired and you just want to get into bed and pull the covers over your head.

But it’s only 3 p.m.

Your first instinct might be to order a triple-shot espresso, grab a candy bar or maybe scoop yourself a big bowl of ice cream, but any of these will be suicide for your already-tanked mood.

Here I’m not only talking about the inevitable sugar crash, but also BDNF, a growth hormone in your brain that is low in people feeling sadness … and which is further suppressed by sugar.[i]

As for caffeine, while small amounts might make you feel better temporarily, larger amounts (above 200 milligrams, or the amount in an average 12-ounce cup of coffee) might make you feel more tense and anxious.

Instead, what you need when your mood needs a boost is real food. Not just any real food will do, though, when you’re feeling stressed out or blue…

What you need are “good mood” foods that are proven to make you feel better – some work fast while others work in the long run, so try to include a variety in your diet on a regular basis.

7 Top Mood-Boosting Foods

7. Bananas

best good mood foodsRich in B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, bananas may help to calm your nervous system. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body produce mood-enhancing serotonin, as well as mood-boosting magnesium. Plus, bananas also contain dopamine, another ‘reward chemical’ to your brain.

6. Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are rich in selenium. Low selenium intake is associated with poor mood,[ii] and people with low levels of this mineral who took selenium daily for five weeks had decreasing levels of anxiety, depression and tiredness. It’s possible to overdose on selenium supplements, however, which is why it’s better to get it naturally via your diet.

5. Kiwi

One kiwi contains more vitamin C than an orange, which is important since vitamin-C deficiency is linked to fatigue and depression. In one study, hospitalized patients experienced an improvement in mood after receiving vitamin C.[iii]

4. A Grass-Fed Beef Burger

A burger to boost your mood? Absolutely. Grass-fed beef is rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B12, which a significant number of Americans may be deficient in. Mood swings are a common symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. Further, the protein will help to level out your blood sugar levels.

3. Spinach

Spinach (and other leafy greens) is rich in folate, high blood levels of which are linked to fewer depressive symptoms. Folate also boosts blood flow to your brain and produces mood-regulating neurotransmitters, including serotonin.

2. Sardines

These oily fish are an excellent low-mercury source of omega-3 fats, which are not only basic building blocks of your brain but also impact your mood. After three months, people who consumed a daily dose of omega-3s had a 50 percent reduction in depressive symptoms, including feelings of sadness and pessimism.[iv]

1. Dark Chocolate

best good mood foodsDark chocolate is rich in polyphenols that have a beneficial impact on your mood. One study found people who drank polyphenol-rich cocoa once a day for 30 days reported feeling calmer and more content.[v] The polyphenol component is critical here, so choose dark chocolate with high cocoa content for the best mood-boosting effects.

Flushing Out Toxins Improves Mood!

best good mood foodsbest good mood foodsbest good mood foodsThey’re in your food (pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors), your water and in the air you breathe (car exhaust, second-hand smoke, fumes from cleaning products, etc.).

Other toxins include medications, alcohol, cigarettes … and your body even produces waste products known as endogenous toxins (an unhealthy gut is a common source of endogenous toxins), which can quickly overwhelm your system, particularly if your normal routes of elimination (your urine, colon, lungs, skin and mucosal linings) are not working properly.

If your mood could use a boost, you can help by assisting in your body’s release of accumulated toxins by using Natural Cleanse, a 30-day colon flush and revitalization program.

By flushing toxins from your gastrointestinal tract, your bowels will begin to function normally and inflammation of your GI tract lining will also be reduced (helping stop the transfer of toxins from your colon into your bloodstream).

Many report that their mood improves dramatically and stabilizes, along with feeling more energetic and focused, after completing this simple 30-day program


[i] Neuroscience. 2002;112(4):803-14.

[ii] Nutr Neurosci. 2002 Dec;5(6):363-74.

[iii] Mayo Clinic, Nutrition and Healthy Eating

[iv] Psychology Today August 16, 2007

[v] Journal of Psychopharmacology May 2013; vol. 27, no. 5, 451-458

Filed Under: Healthy Eating
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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1 thought on “The 7 Best “Good Mood” Foods”

  1. Bonnie Pickhardt says:

    I agree with the mood enhancers you’ve listed, and find peanut butter and oatmeal helpful as well. Thanks for the information.

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