Mood-Boosting Foods for May

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, making it the perfect time for us to share our favorite foods to support your mood, and overall health, of course. With a rainy start to spring, I bet we could all use an extra boost right now! Here are the facts: Research shows a diet high in processed foods and sugar (we see you chips, candy, soda) can increase the risk for depression, anxiety and cognitive decline. Foods we love like fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins, can do the opposite (no surprise here) and actually improve mental health outcomes. Lastly, the gut-brain axis is real, and studies show having a balanced microbiome is critical in reducing stress, anxiety and depression (not to mention promoting regularity which makes everyone happy!). So beyond us just telling you to eat more whole foods, rich in fiber and low in sugar, we put together a list of our favorite, science-backed, mood-boosting foods to support you through it all. Enjoy them all or try out a few.

*And remember, if you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition, reach out to a professional and get help.

A few of our favorite and effective mood-boosting foods include:

  • Berries: Snack ‘em or add them to your yogurt or smoothie. Full of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C, they help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which, in turn, improves your mood.
  • Bananas: Perfect pre-workout! Bananas are rich in tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin–which is associated with mood regulation.
  • Kiwi: Slice it up and enjoy with the skin on for extra fiber! Kiwis are packed with Vitamin C, fiber (gut health!), Potassium, Folate & tryptophan, all of which are influential in boosting one’s mood. Two a day also helps you “go.” Now you know!
  • Mixed Nuts: Nutrient-dense, portable snacks or easy additions to any meal. Cashews, almonds & walnuts contain magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation and support brain health and mood.
  • Fermented Foods: Think sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, Greek yogurt. Fermented foods contain probiotics that support gut health and your microbiome, which can positively affect mood, digestion and immunity too!
  • Wild Salmon: Canned, fresh or frozen, just eat it! Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and amino acids, both of which reduce inflammation and promote cognitive function.
  • *BONUS* Dark chocolate (>70% cacao): Yes, we think it solves most problems 😉 Thanks to the high levels of flavonoids and phenylethylamine it contains, it increases serotonin levels and, therefore, improves overall mood.

Start adding these yummy whole foods into your diet to crowd out less healthy items and notice a positive shift in your overall mood! And don’t forget to check out our monthly obsessions below, recipes on Instagram, or personalize your plate and sign up for a few 1:1 sessions.

Keep crushing your nutrition goals and, as always, feel free to email or DM us!