Brain Foods: Beat The Blues By Changing The Foods You Eat

Brain Foods

Although it isn’t always advisable to turn to food when you're feeling down, research shows that eating certain so-called "brain foods" can have a positive effect on your mood.

So, make a point of eating more of these brain foods whenever you are feeling blue:

Omega-3 Rich Foods

Foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against depression. Foods such as fish, flaxseed, and walnuts are a great source of omega-3. There have been studies which suggest that omega-3 fatty acids positively affect neurotransmitter pathways.

Soluble Fiber Rich Foods

Eating foods rich in soluble fiber can help put you in a better mood. Soluble fiber helps balance blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood.

  • Foods that are good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, beans, citrus fruits, peas, strawberries, and apples.

Foods Low In Simple Sugars

Low-carb diets are very popular these days. Therefore, many individuals avoid carbohydrates altogether. However, eating certain kinds of carbohydrates can have many benefits.

  • Avoid simple sugars that are found in sweets and processed foods. However, foods with complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down in the body can be very beneficial.
  • Carbohydrates help your brain to use tryptophan, an amino acid found in some proteins like turkey. Once tryptophan enters the brain, serotonin production increases. Serotonin is a hormone that elevates your mood. So feel free to enjoy some carbohydrates along with your tryptophan-containing proteins.

Vitamin B12 Rich Foods

Chicken is a good source of vitamin B12, which is known to have a calming effect. Low levels of vitamin B12 can make you feel moody, tired, and miserable. So, eat more chicken!

Green Tea

Green tea is also loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. It is known to help improve brain function and also contains theanine, an antioxidant that acts as a calming agent. 

Fruits & Vegetables 

Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are good for them, but there are studies showing that some of them have higher mood-elevating properties than others.

  • Eat broccoli and leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale.
  • Fruits like oranges, bananas, mangoes, pomegranates, blueberries, and strawberries are very helpful for boosting your mood.

Foods Rich In Vitamin D

These include: 

  • Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
  • Beef liver.
  • Cheese.
  • Egg yolks.

In addition to eating the right kinds of foods, you can get vitamin D simply by being exposed to sunlight.

  • There have even been studies showing a link between vitamin D deficiency and mood. Combat a bad mood by eating foods with vitamin D or going for a walk on a nice sunny day.

"Anti" Brain Foods

Just as there are foods that are good for your brain and that help improve your mood, there are foods that aren´t helpful at all.

Here are two LARGE food groups that negatively impact your mood:

Avoid sugar and processed foods

Those who turn to food when they’re in a bad mood often eat sweets and other junk food. Simple sugars that are broken down quickly can give you a temporary rush, but you’ll come crashing down as your blood sugar levels drop. Therefore, it’s best to avoid these types of foods.

Avoid deep fried foods

Many deep fried foods are cooked in oils that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids can block the mood boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

It might not be possible to know exactly what foods might bring you out of a bad mood on any given day. However, as a rule of thumb, stick to the foods that are known to be healthy, such as lean proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables, while avoiding unhealthy, processed foods.

Of all the things that affect the health of your brain, your diet is probably the most essential for keeping your brain functioning at peak performance, so choose a few of the foods mentioned above and start making them part of your regular meal plans.

A Brain Food Bonus Pack For You​

And to help you along, I´ve also put together a bonus package (eBook, Quick Reference Guide & Meal Planner) called the TOP 20 BRAIN FOODS just for you. Click HERE or on the image to download your copy.

Top 20 Brain Foods

About the Author Jan Marie Mueller

Jan Marie Mueller is founder of the inspirational blog ThinkBrilliantly and The Brilliance Community, a free Facebook group dedicated to empowering women to let their inner brilliance shine! Her mission is to help women everywhere shift the way they think about themselves, their world and those around them so they have the confidence to do, be and have what they want most in life!

follow me on: