Can food affect your mood? Here’s what you should be eating.

Hands up if you’ve turned to a slab of your favourite chocolate, or tub of ice cream when you’re feeling low? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Offering more than simply nourishment, it’s common to turn to a comforting meal or sweet treat for a feel good sugar rush. But, how can we use the impact food has on our mood for good (and not just a short-term fix)?

Here’s what Lauren Walsh, Head Dietitian at Best10 has to say about food and its impact on our mood: 


“While the relationship between food and mental health is very complex and not yet fully understood, there are some things we do know- the effects of certain foods on blood sugars, immunity, and gut health impact our mood.”

The best foods to add to your diet to improve your mood

Research shows that there is a direct link between the types of food we consume and our moods. Here are five foods that your body – and mind – will thank you for. 

1. Fatty Fish

There is increasing evidence that consuming omega 3’s from fish oil significantly lowers depression scores overall. Types of fatty fish to look out for include salmon, tuna – and budget-friendly mackerel or sardines.

2. Split Peas, Beans and Lentils

Besides being high in fiber and plant-based protein, split peas, beans and lentils are packed with feel-good nutrients. They’re rich in B vitamins, which helps mood improvements by increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for mood regulation.

3. Fermented Foods

Fermented foods such as kimchi, yoghurt, kombucha, and kefir improve gut health and mood. Why? During the fermentation process, probiotics are created that aid in the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and lead to increased serotonin levels. As a bonus – high serotonin levels result in lower stress levels!

4. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are rich in plant-based proteins, healthy fats and fibre. They also provide an amino acid which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Excellent sources include almonds, cashews, peanuts as well as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds.

5. Oats

A wholegrain that keeps you feeling good all morning and an excellent source of fibre! Fiber aids in slowing the digestion of carbs which results in stabilized blood sugar levels which are essential for controlling mood swings and irritability.

So next time you’re feeling blue, choose food that will not only boost your mood, but also your overall health.