Good food, good mood: How to boost your diet to enhance your mood

Feb 17, 2023

Whether you are a comfort eater, or use food as a way to celebrate, one thing is clear - our mood has an impact on our food choices. Have you ever considered the reverse? Using food to boost your mood? Well the evidence is growing is this exciting area of 'nutritional psychiatry' and it is looking good! Here are few ways to get started. Include the following foods in your diet:


  1. Quality carbohydrates: minimally processed carbs (such as wholemeal multigrain bread) can support our serotonin levels (our happy hormone) and provide us with long lasting energy - which can help to prevent the ‘3pm slump’.
  2. Leafy greens: such as spinach and kale are high in folate which plays a role in nurturing our mood via producing hormones.
  3. Fermented foods: some such as specific yoghurts and kefirs contain probiotics which nourish the healthy bacteria that live in our gut! We are learning that this colony of gut microbes plays a role in regulating our mood.
  4. Nuts and seeds: are high in magnesium which can activate calming sensors in our brain, leading to reduced stress and anxiety


Deficiencies in particular micronutrients can also play a role in mood and behaviour. In some cases, diets that are low in micronutrients (often high in processed foods and lacking in fruit and vegetables) have been linked to higher rates of depression.


  1. Fruit and vegetables are a fantastic source of micronutrients. Including a wide variety of different colours on your plate can help to raise your micronutrient levels, giving you the power to thrive.
  2. Fast food and foods that are high in sugar or fat are often lacking in micronutrients and can interrupt our brain's usual hormone production and hunger cues. By choosing un-processed alternatives, you’ll feel more energised and may even notice a boost in your mood!


Want some help getting started? Book with our dietitians, click here .

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