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Foods to Stabilize Your Mood

Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Because bananas are high in natural sugar AND fiber, the sugar releases slowly into the bloodstream. This allows blood sugar levels to be more stable, which supports a more regulated mood.

Dark Chocolate is a quick fuel source for your brain. It’s high in health-promoting flavonoids that increase blood flow to your brain, reducing inflammation and supporting mood regulation.

Salmon is SO GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN! It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce depression. Omega-3s contribute to the permeability of your brain’s cell membrane, which improves cell signaling. (Albacore tuna is also a good source!)

Oats are an excellent source of fiber, which helps slow carbohydrate digestion, allowing for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels stable. They also contain iron, so they help prevent the fatigue and sluggishness that come with iron deficiency.

Berries (fresh or frozen) contain a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which play a key role in combatting oxidative stress. They’re particularly high in anthocyanins, a pigment that gives certain berries their purple-blue color. Diets rich in antioxidants have also been linked with lower rates of depression and other mood disorders.

Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. They provide tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, as well as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, are excellent sources.

Certain nuts and seeds, such as Brazil nuts, almonds, and pine nuts, are also good sources of zinc and selenium, which support healthy brain function.

Fermented foods can be a good source of probiotics, which support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and may increase serotonin levels. In fact, up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced by your gut microbiome. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects many facets of human behavior, such as mood, stress response, appetite, and sexual drive.

The fermentation processes of foods such as kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut foster the growth of healthy probiotic bacteria. But not all fermented foods are significant sources of probiotics, due to cooking and filtering. This is true of beer, wine, and some breads.

Beans and lentils are not only high in fiber and plant-based protein—they are full of feel-good nutrients. They’re an excellent source of B vitamins, which help improve mood by increasing levels of mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). B vitamins also play a key role in nerve signaling, which allows proper communication between nerve cells.

Beans and lentils are also a good source of zinc, magnesium, selenium, and non-heme iron—important nutrients that support healthy brain function.


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