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Good Mood Food November 3, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness.

Depression in the leading cause of disability in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Nutrition can play a part in improving mood.

To turn your frown upside down (without having to stand on your head) . . . try some Good Mood Food!

According to The Top 100 Healing Foods ~ 100 Foods to Relieve Common Ailments and Enhance Health and Vitality, these foods may alleviate mild depression:

* Bananas ~ tryptophan, an amino acid, aids in the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that improves mood and encourages relaxation.  Other good sources:  poultry, dairy products, and peas.  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 52]

* Goji Berry ~ eating a handful of goji berries will “lift your mood and make you feel happy for the entire day.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 62]

* Brown Rice ~ “When consumed regularly, it may help to ease depression, probably due to its B-vitamin and magnesium content – nutrients needed to calm and strengthen the nerves.” [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 76)

* Almonds ~ an ideal food for the brain and nervous system which also “improves the skin, protects cells from free radicals, and slows down the aging process.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 86]

* Walnuts ~ a powerhouse of nutrients (including Omega-3 fatty acids) which “aid cognitive function and sharpen the memory” as well as keeping “blood vessels flexible.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 88]

* Eggs ~ free range eggs contain “more vitamins and good fats, and less cholesterol than eggs laid by battery hens.” [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 108]

* Salmon ~ good for “lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, easing the symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and depression, and improving skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 110]

And (no surprise here) . . .


* Dark Chocolate ~ “Chocolate possesses phenylethylamine, an amphetamine-like compound that acts as a natural mood enhancer, and theobromine, which is a mild stimulant.  To reap the benefits of dark chocolate, it should be eaten regularly in small amounts.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 117]

Other tips to elevate mood with food from What To Eat For What Ails You ~ How to Treat Illnesses by Changing the Food and Vitamins in Your Diet:

* Carbohydrates trigger the release of serotonin, our feel-good neurotransmitter.  Focus on complex carbohydrates ~ fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

* Add foods rich in folate, a B-vitamin that may be deficient in people with depression.  Good sources:  spinach, lentils, and peas.

* Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which promote proper brain function and may help relieve depression.

* Reduce your intake of saturated fats and sugar ~ red meat, cheese, butter, and rich desserts.

* Limit or eliminate your intake of alcohol and caffeine.  Alcohol is a depressant that also causes dehydration and fatigue.

Caveat:  Good Mood Food may help to alleviate mild depression.  Severe depression warrants profession treatment.

Other things that help to improve mood naturally:  light and laughter, playful kittens, sunshine and fresh air, roly-poly puppies, regular exercise, bunny rabbits, watching young children at play, mindfulness, pampering, creative visualization, gratitude, meditation, music, and . . . uplifting videos!

Here’s Your Smile For The Day (Reflections from a Cloudy Mirror)

Aah . . . that’s better!   

Quote to Ponder:  We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh.

Related posts:  Vim & Vigor via Vinegar * Speaking of Chocolate . . . *  Coffee ~ Friend or Foe? * Get Out!!! * Will This Thought Bring Me Happiness


1. 2e0mca - November 3, 2011

But the occasional attack of Chips (the British version) can certainly help with depression. Just don’t make it a habit though

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

Potatoes are carbohydrates . . . so they release the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin! Woot!

But too much oil can cause sluggishness.

2. Cindy - November 3, 2011

Amazing, I am busy writing a post about depression-fighting foods too … but mine includes champagne … *grin*

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

Cool! Can’t wait to read it. Too much champagne makes me feel BAD . . . but a bit of bubbly makes me feel effervescent!

theonlycin - November 3, 2011


Patricia - November 3, 2011

Mine would include ChocoVine wine. Chocolate and red wine…sweet dreams are made of this.

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

You go, girl!

3. suzicate - November 3, 2011

Yes, chocolate (any kind in my opinion) is feel good food…and wine is the feel good drink!

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

Wine, like champagne, makes me feel feel good if I consume a small amount . . . too much and its depressant effect kicks in causing my mood to plunge.

4. Judson - November 3, 2011

Wow … no meat loaf, pinto beans, turnip greens, fried okra, and corn bread?? Good Mood Food is different from “Comfort Food” !


nrhatch - November 3, 2011

Most of the comfort foods you’ve listed contain carbohydrates which trigger the release of serotonin ~ in that sense, they are “Good Mood Food.” 😀

But too much fried food, e.g., fried okra, can cause fatigue and sluggishness which exaccerbate depression.

5. SidevieW - November 3, 2011

Dark Chocolate – oh yes!

A bit of champers does it, but scotch makes me miserable

Lovely post Nancy

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

I’ve noticed that one drink (beer, wine, or liquor) relaxes me and elevates my mood ~ it’s Happy Hour!

If I have a 2nd drink, my mood crashes and burns.

6. clarbojahn - November 3, 2011

Good thoughts went in this post, 🙂 , I can tell. 🙂
Especially the chocolate has a smile on it..

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

Thanks, Clar. I am having good thoughts today . . . and I ate ALMONDS for lunch. I’ll have my chocolate later. 😀

7. Alannah Murphy - November 3, 2011

Great post, er…what if you’re seriously afraid of small fluffy kittens? hee hee (I wonder if there is such a phobia, probably…)

Off to have a banana 😉

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

There’s a phobia for everyone. And I’m sure that plenty of people are neutral about fluffy kittens . . . but they ALWAYS make me smile.

Yes, we have no bananas . . . we have no bananas today! But I’ve added them to my shopping list.

Alannah Murphy - November 3, 2011

Can’t imagine anyone not liking fluffy kittens ^_^

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

I could watch kittens at play for hours!

8. CMSmith - November 3, 2011

Thanks, Nancy. Good to know.

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

I added some almonds to my lunch . . . CRUNCH! 😀

9. kateshrewsday - November 3, 2011

Wow. Now there’s a reason to eat healthily.

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

Eat Healthy . . . Be Happy! 😀

10. bluebee - November 3, 2011

Great post, Nancy – I don’t think many people realise just how depressed even moderate amounts of alcohol can make us. And its implication in breast cancer is another reason to go lighly when it comes to drinking.

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

When I was younger, I don’t think alcohol had the same effect on me. Now, I’m HAPPIER sticking to one drink (or none).

11. sufilight - November 3, 2011

Good information! I eat almonds, walnuts and bananas almost daily and have the occasional dark chocolate. Maybe this is why I hardly get depressed. I used to suffer from depression from ages 13-19, so I know how painful it is.

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

I’m going to start eating chocolate covered almonds and banana walnut bread every day! Yay! 😀

12. Patricia - November 3, 2011

I am rarely depressed and when I am I usually stomp around, have a good cry, and go to bed. When I wake up all is well…that is for “normal” depression. I have had a couple “event” caused depressions that required time and very patient good friends.

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

Crying is actually a good way to release toxins. I find a GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP does wonders for my mood if I’m feeling “out of sorts.”

13. souldipper - November 3, 2011

These foods do my heart good, Nancy. In more ways than one!

As for moods, what a great idea to grab one of those goodies instead of a drink. Oh I know – people want relief – to take the edge off. Drinking can be dressed up to look so cultural, but it’s soooo full of sugar and it ends up being a depressant!

You know, I never thought of this before…do people sit on the computer and write under the influence? Yike! That’s scary.

Anyway, I’m delighted that most of those foods are on my list of favourite foods – except salmon. I ate too way much of it when I first moved to the Coast.

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

One drink makes me relaxed and happy. More than that makes my mood CRASH.

Operating a computer and writing under the influence is better than operating a car and driving under the influence.

I rarely eat eggs or salmon . . . and I’ve never had goji berries, but now I want to try them.

14. jeanne - November 3, 2011

I feel better just reading all the things that can put you in a good mood. Great post!

nrhatch - November 3, 2011

Thanks, Jeanne. As I wrote this, I felt the same . . . especially since I actually LIKE most of these foods. 😀

15. jannatwrites - November 4, 2011

This was an interesting list. Especailly since my husband was diagnosed with depression (finally, after a long list of unresolved physical ailments.) He’s on meds now, but I’ll throw in some of these foods as added insurance 🙂

nrhatch - November 4, 2011

So many people suffer from depression these days ~ it makes me wonder whether our materialistic “me” mindset and our “meat and potatoes” diet contributes.

Here’s to good food and good moods!

16. adeeyoyo - November 4, 2011

I thought there was a reason why I can’t eat enough bananas lately!

nrhatch - November 4, 2011

Your body might be craving them for their potassium as well ~ it protects against high blood pressure and fluid retention.

I do believe that our inner pharmacist knows what we need and communicates with us through “cravings.”

Step away from the chips . . . NOT that kind of craving. 😛

17. Tilly Bud - November 4, 2011

I didn’t know that about bananas.

Your final quote is spot on.

nrhatch - November 4, 2011

Laughter is an instant mood elevator. So are smiles. If we can find something to laugh about . . . we’re halfway “home.”

18. Naomi - November 4, 2011

Ah…much better, thanks Nancy 😀 The kittens and ducklings do it for me! Great post, which bring Patrick Holford’s “Optimum Nutrition for the Mind” to mind. Excellent advice.

nrhatch - November 4, 2011

There are so many great resources available to us once we decide to improve our health and well-being through diet, exercise, and mindfully monitoring our wayward thoughts.

As soon as we decide we are not going to stay “where we are” . . . we start bumping into the tools we need to get where we want to go. 😀

19. ceceliafutch - November 4, 2011

Excellent! I’m going to print it and post on the refrigerator. 🙂

nrhatch - November 4, 2011

Eat healthy! Be Happy! 😀

20. Debra - November 4, 2011

Dark chocolate….yummy! Two playful older small dogs! Those ducklings are too cute….now where could I put them…(hehe)

I do not watch sad movies, listen to sad songs, or watch the thing media calls ‘news’ much. If at all.

Wine is good, one glass. Coffee? yes only two 6 oz cups a day for me please.

Good list Nancy…be well and Namaste 🙂

nrhatch - November 4, 2011

I’m with you . . .

I choose not to add unnecessary suffering and sadness to my life with sad books, sad movies, sad poems, sad blog posts, sad songs, or sad sacks. 😆

Instead, I focus on happy stories and humor in books, movies, poems, posts, and songs.

I rarely watch the “news” . . . it’s just a slice of the worst part of life.

21. Carl D'Agostino - November 4, 2011

Specific nutrition protocols can be a wiser course to make electrical and chemical function correct itself in the brain instead of pills for this and that.

nrhatch - November 4, 2011

I agree!

“We have a pharmacy inside us that is absolutely exquisite. It makes the right medicine, for the precise time, for the right target organ ~ with NO side effects.” ~ Deepak Chopra, M.D.

22. Team Oyeniyi - November 5, 2011

Dark chocolate to the rescue! I knew it was good! 😀

nrhatch - November 5, 2011

And PTC did a recent post showing that ALL chocolate has benefits for sustaining our good moods. 😀

23. ElizOF - November 5, 2011

I’m very fond of almost all the foods you listed and enjoy them regularly. (although now I am on a restricted diet so I wont eat some for a short while), The only one I eat infrequently is brown rice. I enjoy it when I do but I don’t reach for it much. Thanks for sharing these wonderfully informative posts Nancy! 🙂

nrhatch - November 5, 2011

You’re welcome, E! If I eat rice, it’s brown rice . . . but I don’t have it every day or even every week. I may eat more now that I know more. 😀

24. Jeanne - November 6, 2011

Love the list. We have started to incorporate some of the foods on your list. Brown rice, nuts, more fruits. It will be interesting to see if there is change in our moods. I need all the good mood food for our long Minnesota winters to keep a positive outlook.

nrhatch - November 6, 2011

I hope that you manage to hang on to your good mood . . . well into the winter, Jeanne. If it starts to flag, head south! 😎

25. Tokeloshe - November 8, 2011

Great post!

Loved the video 😉

nrhatch - November 8, 2011

Paula’s video is designed to put a smile on everyone’s face! 😀

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