Have you ever eaten something and just instantly felt happier?  It may have been a big cheesy bowl of pasta or it could have been a superfood salad, there’s no one food group that does it.  What it really comes down to the chemical makeup of particular foods, which can help to bolster your mood.  Gooo science!

Whether they’re relieving stress, increasing energy or sending a surge of happy hormones through your brain, the following foods are said to be the top mood-boosting munchies.  Here’s why…

Not only is salmon delicious and super filling, it’s also rich in essential fatty acids.  These fats actually play an important part in increasing the body’s ability to absorb essential hormones, especially those that help to regulate your mood.    

Coconut is another food filled with heart-healthy fats but believe it or not, it can also help to calm you down.  Studies have shown that even just the smell of coconut can help to reduce stress by weakening your ‘fight or flight’ response and slowing down your heart rate.  So next time you’re feeling a bit stressed out, remember - ‘keep calm and smell a coconut.’

Could have guessed this one!  Carbs are the ultimate comfort food.  This is because they spark a chemical process in your brain that leads to serotonin production, which is a neurotransmitter that helps to boost mood and curb food cravings.  Serotonin can also help you sleep better, which means you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed, awake and happy.  

Eggs are a great source of the vital nutrient choline, which can help promote optimal neurotransmission associated with mood and energy levels.  Combine it with a bit of wholegrain toast for the ultimate mood-boosting brekkie!  

Strange but true!  Mussels actually have one of the highest naturally occurring levels of B12, which helps your brain to stay strong and healthy as you grow older.  Mussels also contain zinc, selenium and iodine, all of which help to keep one of your body’s biggest mood regulators (the thyroid) running smoothly.  

You don’t need to be a scientist to know that chocolate makes people happy.  Why?  Well firstly, dark chocolate increases the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that produce feelings of pleasure.  It also contains serotonin, which can help to fight depression.

Animals that are raised eating grass have much higher levels of linoleic acid in their bodies, which helps reduce stress hormones.  Grass-fed lamb in particular is packed fool of haem (or heme) iron, which is vital for maintaining stable mood levels.  Shish kebab anyone?    

What a lot of people don’t know about calcium is that it triggers your brain to release ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters.  That’s why people who don’t have enough calcium in their diet can become anxious, irritable and depressed.  Not only is Greek yoghurt full of bone-boosting calcium (more so than any milk or regular yoghurt) but it’s also packed with protein as well.  That means you’ll be left feeling full, satisfied and extra happy!

Numerous studies have found that saffron can help to reduce symptoms associated with PMS, such as mood swings and depression.  It’s even been found to have mood improving effect similar to those of clinical antidepressants.  That’s one seriously powerful spice!    


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