Written by Nicole Kinsey and Medically Reviewed by Scott Pearlman, M.D.
The omega-3 found in salmon can help with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression. Salmon is also good for your heart, helps with blood pressure, and helps protect against stroke. Raw, baked, broiled, or grilled, salmon is one of the world’s healthiest foods.
The cocoa in chocolate contains a source of serotonin, dopamine, and phenethylamine. These neurotransmitters are related to feelings of well-being and help in alleviating depression. (And enjoying a “treat” is a mood-lifter in itself!)
Tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids, protein for long-lasting energy, and tyrosine which your body uses to create the two mood-boosting neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. Tuna can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or even canned.
Walnuts are a “superfood” filled with omega-3, antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate and protein, while being low in fat and cholesterol-free. To boost your mood sprinkle them on oatmeal or a salad.
Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan which is converted by the body into serotonin, naturally boosting mood. Also, the protein in turkey is used by the body for long-lasting energy. Try a sandwich of roasted turkey on whole grain bread to get through a long day.
Spinach is rich in folic acid which can lift your mood. Spinach is also full of antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E, for overall good health.
The vitamin B12 in lobsters will give you a mood boost. Try them steamed or make a healthy lobster roll by serving lobster meat and avocado on a whole wheat bun.
The monosaturated (“good”) fats in avocados help keep the receptors in the brain sensitive to serotonin, boosting mood. These same fats will help lower blood pressure, another key to feeling relaxed.
Cottage cheese contains whey protein, which has been shown to decrease anxiety and frustration. All dairy products contain whey; milk is another way to get a good shot of whey in a hurry.