Mood Boosting Foods | Stay Healthy & Happy

Top Foods To Make You Feel Good

As well as being a source of fuel, food can be key to your overall wellbeing. Food interacts with the body to stimulate the creation and release of chemicals. This can have a huge variety of effects on the body, some good and some bad. One of the ways the body can be positively affected by food is a lift in mood. To keep your mood positive, fill your plate with mood boosting foods. Here are our key foods that will leave you feeling happy:


Asparagus makes a fantastic side dish for when you are feeling low. This vegetable is packed with tryptophan and folate, which helps to battle depression and to boost your mood by creating serotonin.

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Tomato skins are full of lycopene. This makes them great at reducing depression causing inflammation. So slice up tomatoes for your sandwiches or throw cherry tomatoes in your next pasta dish. Serving it with olive oil helps the lycopene absorb into the body – a perfect excuse for a Salad Caprese.

Oily Fish

Omega 3 fatty acids help to elevate mood in the brain and boost your brain function. It is important to eat them, as the body does not naturally produce Omega 3s. Oily fish like mackerel are a fantastic source of this happy nutrient. Eating this a couple of times a week is fantastic for your health – but the mercury content means you shouldn’t go for this dish every day.

Pumpkin Seeds

These seeds are a perfect snack to eat on the go. A handful is a great source of fibre but also mood boosting tryptophan. So keep a snack pack handy, or use them to add extra crunch to your salads or overnight oats.

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Greek Yoghurt

Calcium helps to encourage the brain to release happy pulses throughout the brain. Greek yogurt is a powerful and filling source of calcium. The versatility of Greek yogurt means you can add a little happiness to your overnight oats, curries, as a dip for crudites or much more.


This spice may be expensive, but just a small amount has been shown to relieve mood swings and feelings of depression. You can add saffron to bring a fantastic savoury flavor to many dishes. Risotto, sauces, and paella all benefit from this feel good spice.


While you may immediately think of indulging in a pizza, it’s actually complex carbs that are your mood boosters. A portion of oats or brown rice will give you a great dose of fiber, which helps to regulate the absorption of sugar into your body and increase feel good serotonin.

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Ones To Avoid

Sugary treats may seem very appealing when you are feeling low. But though you will experience a sugar rush and a spike of energy and positivity, this will be followed by a crash. So for long term wellbeing, stay clear of your quick fix chocolate bars and refined sugar. If you want something sweet to eat, make sure you stick to fruits as they have natural fructose but also fibre and other key nutrients.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Nutrition. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. Find out more about Faye's experience here:

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