Best Foods to Boost Your Mood

Edward Felici

Founder, Software Eng.

Reviewed by

MPharm, AfN Nutritionist

Food and happiness go together perfectly and always have.

As long as you don’t overdo it, enjoying a good meal or a treat for a snack can really make you feel great.

Duh, right? But how does it work?

There’s a psychological aspect to food as mood boosters.

You enjoy eating, so it makes you feel good, especially if it’s something you’ve been looking forward to.

However, there’s also a physical reason for it.

When you eat, a little chemical known as serotonin gets released from your guts into the bloodstream.

Also known as the happy hormone, serotonin is responsible for many critical things, such as modulating satiation, regulating bowel function, and more.

But what makes serotonin so famous and appreciated is it's ability to make us feel good about ourself and happy.

A sort of a natural ‘high’ that makes you feel wonderful.

Interestingly, some foods boost the mood better than others, so let’s see which ones can make you feel the best.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate ganache muffins

Almost all chocolate contains sugar, so it’s highly likely that whatever type of chocolate you eat, you’ll feel good while you’re eating it.

Unfortunately, those sugars are bad for your health, and although they do make you feel good, the feeling quickly disappears, and you might feel worse than you did before.

That’s where dark chocolate comes in.

Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk or white chocolate, so it’s healthier, and it’s something that diabetics can enjoy too.

On top of this, dark chocolate also contains antioxidants, and it battles against the cortisol (or the stress hormone) in your body, helping to make your mood better.

That makes dark chocolate a great choice for a tasty treat that will boost your mood and is just on the right side of unhealthy.

The higher the percentage of dark chocolate you buy, the fewer the sugars, and the healthier it is.

So, if you really want to maximise the mood-boosting qualities of chocolate, go for a 95% to 100% variety!


Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Cookies Recipe

What’s the main thing most people know about bananas?

Well, other than the fact that they’re yellow and they’re actually an herb distantly related to ginger (yes, really!), it’s that they’re jam-packed full of potassium, and that means they’re great for your health.

That’s because potassium helps to keep your heart beating in a regular rhythm, which goes on to regulate your blood pressure.

But what about your mood?

Bananas can definitely help there too, because as well as potassium, they also contain tryptophan, and that’s the element with mood-improving qualities.

This chemical regulates the mood and keeps things on an even keel, so you’ll be less likely to have mood swings if you include bananas in your diet.

If you are looking for a portable snack with bananas, check out our crunchy peanut butter banana chip cookies!


Thai Blue Sticky Rice with Mango

This list is full of surprises, and the fact that coconuts can be an excellent way to boost your mood is probably one of them.

This tropical fruit can be a tasty addition to a curry, bowl of porridge, or cereal, for example, it can make a fantastic smoothie, and the juice is perfect for drinking.

There’s even coconut oil that can make some delicious bakes, much loved by people with dairy allergies or vegans!

Within all of this, you’ll be consuming a good share of antioxidants. And antioxidants help fight inflammation, a major culprit of low mood.

Although you might not think that coconut can be added to your diet very easily, once you realise just how versatile this ingredient is, you’ll find you can easily eat more of it, and that’s a good thing.

Just have the right amount, and you'll be smiling and laughing to and fro the bakery!

And if you’re into something fancy and exotic, try our colourful adaption of Thai Mango Sticky Rice with Coconut Milk.

Nuts & Seeds

Brazil nuts

With their wealth of healthy fatty oils, like omega-3, nuts and seeds are a wonderful aid to prosperous hearts and guts.

Healthy guts are among the leading factors for overall wellbeing and therefore general happiness.

On top of it, specific mood-boosting compounds like tryptophan abound in these little fellas.

So stash a few nuts in your bags, you cheeky squirrels. And top your oatmeals with lots of different seeds!

Soy Products

Buffalo Tempeh

You're about to discover why vegans are always so happy and jolly!

Soy products are loaded with a variety of nutrients, some of which are great mood boosters.

Soy milk, tofu, and even vegan soy-based yogurts are all great.

But there's one soy-derived product that trumps them all: Tempeh.

Tempeh is similar to tofu but less refined and fermented.

Like all fermented foods, tempeh is filled with good and helpful bacteria that is responsible for making our guts healthy.

And healthy guts are among the leading factors for overall wellbeing and therefore general happiness.

Try these vegan tempeh "buffalo wings" for inspiration!

Edward Felici

Article by

Edward Felici

Founder of Foodaciously and Dreamer in Chief. Loves to code, shoot videos, and hike.