12 Foods That Boost Your Mood

These foods are blessed with compounds that lift your spirits.

August 1, 2016
radishes
Shutterstock

Nutrient-rich whole foods are basically edible Prozac. After a few weeks of eating clean, you may find yourself feeling happier and healthier, and having fewer dips in energy. Why? The vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in fruits, veggies, and other whole foods help cells do their job, so your body can operate more efficiently—in fact, a recent study found that people who eat seven or more servings of produce a day are happier and have better mental health.

More: Do This to Stop Toxic Thinking in Its Tracks

And eating complex carbohydrates and whole grains—as well as lean proteins and healthy fats—keeps your blood sugar leveled and keeps you satisfied for longer periods of time, so you can avoid getting "hangry" and resist the temptation for a midafternoon cookie or coffee pick-me-up.

The joy you get from eating isn't simply a result of good flavor and mouthfeel—nutrients in certain foods can actually trigger the release of feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine.

More: The Fastest Way to Stop a Bad Mood

Luckily, plenty of clean foods fit the bill. Here are 12 foods blessed with compounds that lift your spirits:

Clams
Shutterstock
Clams

A great source of vitamin B12, clams have been proven to help fight depression and some bipolar disorders. 

Walnuts
Shutterstock
Walnuts

Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid—an omega-3 fatty acid that reduces inflammation and is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, and helps to fight depression.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Flaxseed
Shutterstock
Flaxseed

Also high in omega-3s, flaxseeds can help to boost your brain health, and can help to enhance your mood throughout the day. 

More: 18 Foods That Will Quench Your Thirst

Coffee
Shutterstock
Coffee

The smell, the taste, the fact that it's pretty much undisputedly awesome for you: In fact, coffee has been linked to improved memory and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and skin cancer. So keep tipping back that mug, just make sure it contains a quality brew.

Radishes
Shutterstock
Radishes

Not only is it a top food for your liver, radishes also increase dopamine, which is directly tied to your overall mental health and mood. 

 
 
Oysters
Shutterstock
Oysters

Oysters will not only boost your mood, but it'll actually help you get in the mood. The libido-boosting food is a natural aphrodisiac that'll help you get frisky. 

More: 7 'Healthy' Foods Nutritionists Don't Approve Of

Pomegranates
Shutterstock
Pomegranates

A heart-healthy superstar, the pomegranate helps to improve blood circulation and increases mood and testosterone in men. 

Yogurt
Shutterstock
Yogurt

Plain yogurt will provide a healthy dose of protein and calcium without any added sugar, and organic will ensure that no hormones, antibiotics, or GMO ingredients are present, and it's the calcium that'll help to improve your happiness. 

 
 
Kefir
Shutterstock
Kefir

Probiotics have been proven to boost athletic performance, and fermented foods can even help to lower your anxiety, naturally helping to boost mood. 

More: The Best Anti-Aging Beauty Foods Ever

Shiitake mushrooms
Shutterstock
Shiitake mushrooms

Because they're high in vitamin D, shiitake mushrooms improve mood and energy, and also offer immune-boosting benefits. 

Chocolate
Shutterstock
Chocolate

There is a right and wrong way to eat chocolate, and a bite or two of dark chocolate can work to help you control stress and anxiety. 

 
 
Apricots
Shutterstock
Apricots

Apricots can not only give your skin a warmer glow, but they help your body develop serotonin, which helps to keep your mood levels at a happy high. 

Adapted from Eat Clean. Stay Lean.

See Next