11 Foods That Can Improve Your Mood & Make You Feel Great

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It’s impractical to think all of us will be in a good mood all the time. There are bound to be moments in each person’s day when they are downright out of it. But did you know there are foods proven to improve your mood that can help snap you out of it? It’s true — these foods contain all the right things to get your body and mind on the right track, and boost your mood to where you’d like it to be.

Maybe you got a horrible night of sleep last night. Maybe you are so inundated with work today that you can barely see straight. Maybe you and your significant other are fighting a lot lately. Despite the bottom line reason, you’re in a cranky mood and just can’t seem to shake it. You quickly notice people around you are taking the hint that you’re not in the cheeriest of moods, as they’ve slowly started to distance themselves from you. Many of us have been there, and are aware how difficult it can be to get ourselves out of. No matter how hard we try to feel more pleasant, nothing seems to be working. However, have you considered having the right kind of snack to fight off a bad mood? It sounds too simple to be true, but it works. Certain foods are actually proven to be helpful in taking your mood up a notch. Plus, guess what’s on the list? Chocolate! Let’s get right to it. Here are 11 foods proven to improve your mood.

1. Egg Yolks

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Have you been sticking to only egg whites? It’s time to reconsider that notion. In terms of improving mood, consuming the yolk can be particularly helpful, as a matter of fact. This is because egg yolks contain vitamin D. According to WebMD, studies have shown vitamin D is correlated with various mood disorders — and the more of the vitamin you get, the better your mood is because of it. In addition to egg yolks, other foods that contain vitamin D include fish (which I’ll get to in more detail below) and cheese.

2. Coconut

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Coconut is all the rage right now — whether in its drink or food form, or simply in the oil it contains. Did you know, though, that coconut can amp up that bad mood you’re in? According to OneGreenPlanet.org, coconut contains two ingredients that have been linked to happiness — lauric acid and medium-chain-triglycerides. These ingredients can prevent you from feeling tired and cranky, the outlet added.

3. Mussels

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Mussel lovers out there — we’ve got some great news for you. Mussels are packed with nutrients like zinc, iodine, and selenium, according to Rodale’s Organic Life blog. These nutrients play an important role in regulating your thyroid, which is technically your body’s mood regulator.

4. Cherries

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According to DoctorOz.com, having a handful of cherries before you hit the hay at night might make for a far happier morning. Why, exactly? The outlet said you’ll have gotten a far better night of sleep, as the melatonin found in cherries acts as a natural sleep aid. You might very easily find yourself waking up well-rested and smiling from ear to ear — just remember to opt for tart cherries over their sweet counterpart.

5. Chocolate

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Chocolate makes us happy… there’s just no denying it. According to a Swiss study, consuming 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks helped reduce stress hormones for study participants. The researchers noted this could be due to antioxidants found in chocolate. Next time you’re fighting your chocolate craving, just give in. You might be a whole lot happier and de-stressed because of it.

6. Oranges

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According to Oprah, studies have shown vitamin B6 and folic acid are both vitamins that are lacking in those who suffer from depression. To combat it and boost mood, it might be wise to increase consumption of foods that are rich in these vitamins, including oranges.

7. Celery

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Crunch, crunch, crunch. While it might send chills down my spine to hear a coworker chewing on celery, they’re actually doing right for their body, especially when it comes to improving their mood, according to Women’s Health. According to the outlet, eating celery releases stress and helps your blood vessels relax. This is thanks to the chemical 3-n-butylphthalide which is found in celery, the outlet added.

8. Fish

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We talked earlier about how fish contains vitamin D, which we already know is good for boosting our moods. Let’s now talk about the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, like salmon, herring, rainbow trout, and tuna. According to WebMD, studies have suggested people have a lower of depression symptoms if they eat a lot of fatty fish with those excellent omega-3s.

9. Walnuts

According to Arizona State University researchers, moods can be boosted easily through high consumption of alpha-linolenic acid. Where can you find this? Walnuts are a rich source. If you’re not a walnut fan, you can get alpha-linolenic acid from other sources like flaxseed and chia seed, according to Shape.

10. Greek Yogurt

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If you’re not getting enough calcium, it can lead to negative side effects on your mood, according to Rodale’s Organic Life blog. The outlet spoke to Drew Ramsey, MD, coauthor of The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body, who noted, “Disturbances in calcium levels can produce anxiety, depression, irritability, impaired memory, and slow thinking.” The outlet suggested fighting these effects by opting for a high-calcium option like Greek yogurt.

11. Turkey

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Don’t let that incredibly full post-Thanksgiving meal thought enter your head here. As long as you’re not stuffing your belly to the brim with turkey to the point of discomfort, turkey can actually help boost your mood. According to EverydayHealth.com, lean sources of protein — like turkey — help fight depression because of their high levels of the chemical tryptophan. The outlet spoke to Robin H-C, a life coach, behaviorist, and author of Thinking Your Way to Happy!, who noted, “This chemical stimulates serotonin production, which is a natural feel-good chemical your body produces.”

Next time you’re feeling down, try using food as a means of bettering your mood. The food options discussed above might quickly bring your mood up in no time.

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