Good mood and food. How are they related? | Daily Spoon

Good mood and food. How are they related?

Jun 23, 2021

We have probably heard more than once that what we eat has a major impact not only on our physical but also on our emotional and mental health. Everything is very simple. Food is often called the fuel of our body, and what is in that fuel has a big impact on our well-being, including brain activity, and, at the same time, our mood.

Recent studies show a correlation between the risk of depression, poor mood, general emotional well-being, and the consumption of large amounts of processed food and sugar. On the contrary, it has been shown that eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress, which also has a positive effect on our mental state.

However, what should our diet look like to make us feel uplifted? Here are some of the most important products and nutrients you need to include in your daily diet for a good mood:

Fruits and vegetables

Focus on fruits and vegetables. Studies show that higher intake is associated with calmer, happier well-being and improved mental health. For best results, it is recommended to consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Vitamin D

Studies show that low levels of vitamin D are strongly associated with an increased risk of depression, so living in less sunny parts of the world, especially during the cold season, it is recommended to consume as many products containing this vitamin as salmon, tuna, egg yolks, oats, mushrooms.

It has been proven that eating food rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress, which also has a positive effect on our mental state. 


Up to 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut, and probiotics, scientists say, have a huge impact on our good mood. In other words, our emotional state (serotonin levels) is directly related to intestinal health, which is directly affected by probiotics. Therefore, let us not forget such products as yogurt, kombucha, miso and etc.


It is helpful to include sources of omega-3 in your diet. These fatty acids have a long list of health benefits, including positive effects on brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. It is especially helpful to include fatty fish and flax, hemp, and chia seeds in your diet.

What is recommended to avoid?

Trans fats

Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat. These fats are detrimental to our physical health, but their effects on our emotional health are also increasingly being talked about. It is said that only about 1.5 grams of trans fat daily strongly correlates with increased levels of depression, so it is advisable to avoid highly processed foods.

Simple carbohydrates

It is recommended to avoid products that are high in simple carbohydrates, such as sweets and white bread. Nutritionists say that the increase in blood sugar they cause results in low energy and emotional irritability. Therefore, instead, it is recommended to include in your diet composite carbohydrates such as whole-grain products, beans, legumes, and fruits (rather than their juices), which are rich in vitamins and minerals that contribute to the production of dopamine and serotonin.


We have probably noticed that following different diets is inseparable from a bad mood. Why? The answer is very simple. Reducing the variety of foods consumed can make it harder to get all the nutrients you need. Low levels of zinc, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids are directly related to mood swings and energy loss.


Mental Health First Aid, ,,What is the Relationship Between Food and Mood?”, 2018.

Harvard Health Publishing, ,,Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food”, 2015.

Harvard Health Publishing, ,,Food and mood: Is there a connection?”, 2021.

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