Your mood can be affected by a number of factors: social situations, money, the weather, hormones, stress, and relationships are only a few. However, one factor that many often don't think of in relation to mood is your diet. The food you eat can seriously take a toll on how you're feeling, and therefore, looking to incorporate "good mood foods" into your regime may benefit you in the long run.
To potentially add a little positivity to your day, consider adding these foods to your diet — they can supposedly boost your mood, which, in times like these, is totally crucial.
Chia seeds or flaxseeds
Omega-3 fatty acids are notorious mood boosters — studies conducted by Harvard University showed that people experiencing depression experienced better moods after incorporating more of them into their diets. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are both incredibly high in omega-3s, according to Healthline, so try incorporating them into your smoothie or your morning bowl of oatmeal. They're also high in protein, so you'll be ready to start the day.
If you aren't a fan of chia or flax, you don't have to sacrifice your daily mood booster, because walnuts are high in omega-3s as well, according to WebMD. Make some dank trail mix, bake a batch of brownies, or snack on some before lunch — they're also high in antioxidants, which help prevent cancer.
Dark chocolate is another well-regarded mood-boosting food. According to Healthline, it includes several "feel good compounds", which include caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine, which some say has similar affects as cannabinoids. Its high hedonic rating, referring to its delicious taste and smell, also promotes positivity.
Fermented foods are incredibly high in probiotics, which help create good bacteria within the digestive tract. According to the NY Daily News, good bacteria help signal the release of serotonin to the brain, and since fermented foods are incredibly high in probiotics, kimchi may be the answer to putting yourself in a good mood.
Kombucha is another fermented food that's notoriously high in probiotics — make your own, or try a few of our favorites such as Better Booch, which is made entirely with organic and vegan ingredients, or Kombucha Town's Live Seltzer, which tastes more like club soda if you're looking for something more low-key. And if you're seeking out something to kick back for the weekend, JuneShine actually has alcohol in it — a gut-healthy party is definitely our kind of party.
Quinoa or brown rice
According to Avera, whole grains — such as quinoa or brown rice — are high in thiamine (B1), folic acid (B9), cobalamin (B12), and selenium. Deficiencies in these vitamins are apparently linked to depression, so incorporating them into your diet will benefit you in the long run. Whip up a tasty Buddha bowl for dinner, or make a healthy stir fry — the choice is yours.
Spinach or swiss chard
Dark leafy greens, such as spinach or chard are high in magnesium, according to The Washington Post, which can elevate serotonin levels naturally. Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety, so make the big salad of your dreams — Elaine Benes would be proud, so proud.
Vitamin D-fortified soy milk
We love vitamin D — in addition to boosting your immune system and helping fight off certain diseases, it's been known to help fight depression and bad moods. Opt for vitamin D-fortified soy milk over the regular, if you can, and you might notice a difference.
Although there's nothing wrong with taking supplements, improving your mood naturally — through food — is easy and entirely possible. Incorporating these foods into your diet shouldn’t serve as a substitution for medical attention, but doing so could ultimately benefit you in the long run.