7 foods that can improve your mental health, mood, and well-being


It’s a fact: there are many brain foods that can lift our spirits and help keep the blues at bay.

While eating the crusts on my sandwiches certainly didn’t cause my hair to curl, there are some scientifically proven foods that help our gray matter and brighten our mental outlook.

Experts, researchers and nutritionists have long suspected that what we put into our system not only affects us physically and drives our day, but has also been shown to give a lot of checks in the refrigerator, pantry, fruit bowl and snack box. from the neck up, reduces anxiety and helps us overcome depression.

A study by the Harvard Medical School recommends treating our brain like the engine of a Ferrari – giving it the premium “fuel”, ie the best foods for the best “nutritional psychiatry”.

“Think about it. Your brain is always” on “. It takes care of your thoughts and movements … it works hard,” said doctor Eva Selhub.

So it only makes sense that the food we give ourselves to nourish the brain is richest in what that brain muscle loves best, and then to forego the things that do the opposite – less of the things we grab when we’re in a rough spot that we may grab too much, such as sugary foods and beverages, excessive alcohol, saturated fat from takeaway meals, and processed foods.

Instead of consuming our unpleasant emotions, we turn our positive thoughts to these seven good-mood foods.

Fermented foods

If kombucha is your thing, or the spicy Korean kick of kimchi does it for you, then something good for your thoughts and feelings is good for you.

Not a kimchi fan? Try yogurt instead.

Fermented foods and drinks have a direct connection to our moods and emotions. The probiotics and prebiotics in fermented foods are healthier for our digestive systems, which are healthier for our minds.


Oily fish – salmon, trout, shrimp – are rich in the fatty acid and omega-3 acids known as DHA.

This is the best of all brain foods that helps our built-in mood shifters – serotonin and dopamine – reduce anxiety, strengthen memory, and improve depression.

Dark chocolate

With a cocoa content of 70 percent, the dark stuff is full of polyphenols, which improve brain function, and also rich in tryptophan, which increases the good mood.

Just 40g of dark chocolate a day can help relieve stress, and even scientists aren’t sure why, but what they do know is that it’s in cocoa beans.


The golden spice used in so many Southeast Asian dishes and curries is tightly packed with the active ingredient curcumin.

Easy to add to meals, dishes, and smoothies, it’s a proven winner in managing anxiety.

Green tea

Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine, which is responsible for producing the neurotransmitter dopamine, a compound that calms us down.

If you’re still looking for a brew that makes a difference, however, then going green may be the happier, healthier option.


A drop or two to start the day could actually be the breakfast of the champions, especially if you’re vitamin D deficient.

The humble egg is rich in vitamin D, which has a positive effect on depression. Poach, boil, or stir, just try not to fry.

Like oats and avocados, eggs contain tryptophan, which creates serotonin, which in turn improves mood, sleep, memory, and behavior.

Nuts and seeds

The perfect snack is a small handful of walnuts or cashews (try to stay away from the salted variety and fry them). Both have shown high rates of reducing depression by up to 45 percent in some tests.

Pumpkin seeds – also known as pepitas – are also the duck’s nuts because of the potassium they contain. Adding these to the mix can help relieve stress, control blood pressure, and – since they’re also a good source of zinc – support good brain and nerve development.

Adam MacDougall is the creator of The Man Shake | @ adam_macdougall5


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