Hey girl, how has your mood been lately? It’s time to check back in with yourself. We know the feeling of being overwhelmed, or in other words…stressed! But what we really want to know is how your eating patterns have been lately. Do you find yourself reaching for processed foods all the time, or skipping meals? Maybe feeling tired as a result. We may know the reason why.

Well first, it’s hard to be in a good mood when you’re feeling hungry or if your body is lacking key nutrients. Food affects our mood in so many ways! What you eat brings about changes in brain structure, chemistry, physiology, which leads to changes in behavior.

Getting the right nutrients over time can improve your mood, tame stress, ease anxiety and even help fight depression. We’ve selected five of many foods that have key nutrients to uplift your mood.

Fish

Fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are highly anti-inflammatory. Omega-3s, particularly EPA and DHA, are crucial for brain and nervous system development. They have been shown to ward off depression – studies indicate communities where people consume more fatty fish are less likely to experience anxiety and depression.

Fish with high levels of omega-3’s like salmon are also high in protein, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. All which have positive affects on your mood. Now go get you some fish!

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all high in vitamin C, which works with cortisol, a hormone that is released during times of stress. Other berries like blueberries and blackberries get their beautiful dark color from a pigment call anthocyanin. These antioxidants help your brain produce dopamine, your body’s chemical messengers that keep things going smoothly between your brain and other parts of your body. Berries also contain folate which contributes to production of serotonin which also helps to improve your mood. They are in season, don’t forget a pack of your favorite berries on your next grocery store visit!

Almonds

This mood boosting food is a great go-to for protein, magnesium, fibre and Vitamin E. As an antioxidant, Vitamin E can help combat free radical damage in the brain and has been shown to improve memory and cognition. This is a great snack and you can add it to your yogurt, salads, or just plain jane!

Avocados

We can’t get enough of avocados. This beautiful miracle has Vitamin B6, fiber, omega-3’s, Vitamin E and Vitamin C, all of which contribute such great health benefits to your body. They also contain Vitamin B5, which helps synthesize neurotransmitters and supports the adrenal glands – to keep it simple, just know that they can help keep your mood stable. Avocado toast anyone?!

Chocolate

Bet you didn’t think this was going to get added to the list. Believe it or not, chocolate makes you happy! It contains a number of compounds like phenylethylamine, which boosts endorphins. Chocolate can improve your mood and cognition, plus its a rich source of antioxidants, iron and magnesium to help put you in relaxation mode. Our advice would just be to familiarize yourself with the added sugars and processed ingredients that manufacturers add to many chocolate bars. We love a good dark chocolate, that is low in added sugars and are on the pure cocoa side.