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Mood depends on a multitude of things, from stress and clutter to sleeping habits and personal relationships. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to control your mood, one of which is changing up your eating habits. As explained in our previous post about different eating habits, the way you consume food can dictate the quality of your physical, mental and emotional health, which, in turn, affects your mood. Aside from eating habits, specific food choices can also help manage, and even boost, the way you feel throughout the day. To help you become happier and healthier, here’s a list of specific food groups that you can incorporate into your diet to improve your mood:

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help alleviate negative emotions that often affect our mood. According to a review of 26 published studies, people who consumed more fatty fish were less likely to acquire depression and experience depression symptoms, including but not limited to hopelessness, irritability and loss of interest. Although no study has yet determined the exact way omega-3 improves depression, many experts speculate that omega-3’s effectivity can be derived from its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to easily travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules. To reap the mood-related benefits of omega-3, make sure to eat around 3.5 ounces of cooked fatty fish everyday.

Whole Grains

Because they’re high in fiber, whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice can help stabilize your mood. These complex carbs help the body release serotonin and give you an energy boost. Aside from fiber, whole grains are also packed with B-vitamins which are vital nutrients for brain health. For instance, vitamin B12 is involved in the production of different neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for mood regulation. To help you make that perfect cup of rice or porridge, consider investing in the proper tools. For a specialized yet versatile option, the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 rice cooker is a sophisticated model that features specialized settings for brown rice. It can make up to 5.5 cups in one go, making it ideal for smaller families.

Fermented foods

Kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut are only some of the fermented foods that can improve both gut health and mood. These benefits come from the fermentation process which cultivates thousands of live bacteria in the food. These live microorganisms, also known as probiotics, can help increase serotonin levels. This improves your mood, stress response, appetite, and sexual drive. Fermented food also improves gut health by enriching and replenishing your gut microbiome. A growing number of studies have been investigating the positive connection between gut health and a lower risk of depression. One of the easiest ways to incorporate fermented food into your diet is by starting your day with a serving of yogurt-rich overnight oats. You can choose from recipes that include a lot of your favorites such as chocolate and banana, blueberry, peanut butter and jelly and apple pie.

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About The Author

During her college years, Reese Jones struggled with finding herself and experienced a lot of negative emotions along the way. After overcoming her own struggles, she started dedicating much of her spare time finding natural and affordable ways to alleviate depression and anxiety.