on Jun 04, 18

Stress and Your Diet: Can Certain Foods Affect Your Mood?

The old saying tells us that we are what we eat. This makes sense. We should be fueling our bodies with nutritious choices that offer vital nutrition. Instead, we often make poor food choices. We choose quick and filling foods that weigh us down and offer little nutritional value. Did you know that these poor food choices can also cause you stress, anxiety, and a bad mood? Skip those poor food choices and you’ll be in a better mood and feel less stressed out. 


The avocado isn’t just delicious and creamy, it’s actually a highly nutritious fruit that can boost your mood and reduce anxiety.

Avocadoes are rich in betacarotene, Vitamin E, folate, and lutein. These are essential nutrients that improve the health of your brain. When your brain is nourished, it’s better able to process rationally. Therefore, these reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

In addition, avocados contain glutathione. This antioxidant defends against free radicals that cause damage to your body on a cellular level, including certain types of cancer.


Have you ever wondered why oysters are touted as an aphrodisiac? It’s because of high levels of zinc, a natural feel-good mineral that could actually put you “in the mood.”

Oysters are extremely high in zinc. Zinc supplements are often used to help treat depression, decrease the effects of ADHD and improve memory.

Without getting too technical, zinc works by helping to nourish the hippocampus portion of the brain. This part of the brain stabilizes functions such as mood and memory and inhibits the onset of stress-triggered migraines.

Raw oysters retain more of this essential mineral than raw. Serve them on the half shell with a twist of the next item on the list.


Lemons assist in fueling the brain because they are jam-packed with Vitamin C. We all know that Vitamin C fights free radicals which boosts the brain’s ability to produce the enzymes to fight illness and cancer.

When you pair this vitamin with mineral-rich foods like iron or zinc, it aids in the mineral absorption. This allows the zinc and iron to be utilized more efficiently by your brain so it can repair cellular damage and help you with an overall feeling of wellness. So, squeeze the lemon juice on those oysters or drop a wedge into your water or tea.


Blueberries are one of life’s greatest pleasures. They offer us a juicy, sweet snack that is low in calories and high in nutritional value. However, they do much more than help you get back into your favorite pair of skinny jeans.

Blueberries are high in anthocyanin. This is an antioxidant that is linked to improving the memory center of the brain. It also helps to keep your brain from sending out stress signals that send out the hormone cortisol when you’re under pressure. This could also have the added benefit of reducing your blood pressure when in stressful situations.

In addition, blueberries are high in Vitamin C, the same vitamin we talked about earlier. However, the effects of this powerful antioxidant really can’t be overstated. Blueberries are best served raw. Eat them as a snack or blend them into a healthy low-carb smoothie. You’ll reduce your stress and still fit back into those jeans!


I’m not suggesting you head to the convenience store and purchase your favorite dark chocolate candy bar the next time you’re feeling down. But, there may be a physiological reason that triggers that desire for chocolate when you feel low. 

Chocolate, dark chocolate to be exact, is what your body is craving during stress. Cocoa is rich in flavonoids. These are antioxidants that help to minimize oxidative stress which causes cellular damage to your brain and body. It also releases hormones that help you feel relaxed. Moderation is key here, you only need to consume one ounce daily to ramp up those antioxidants that relieve stress.


Everyone knows that salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. But the wild-caught version of this mood-enhancing food contains greater levels of Omega-3 than the farm-raised variety.

For those who might not know, Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fat. You may have heard doctors refer to “healthy fats.” This is what they are referring to.

Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation in all of your organs, including the brain. Even mildest inflammation of the brain can cause patients to feel confused, dizzy, absent-minded, depressed and aggressive. Consuming foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can stem brain inflammation and reverse those negative consequences.


Leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, and collards, are more than just a tasty veggie. They can actually brighten your day by boosting your mood.

These greens are high in magnesium, an essential mineral. A 2012 study proved that roughly half of all Americans lack magnesium in their diets. That’s bad news, as magnesium deficiencies are a cause of depression and anxiety.

Magnesium works by helping in the creation of serotonin. High serotonin levels help keep you feeling happy and relaxed. They may also help you bounce back after a stressful event.  On the other hand, patients with low serotonin levels suffer from erratic behavior, depression, and even thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

A healthful diet is important for so many reasons. Eating to achieve a feeling of being happier and less stressed is certainly a great one! In addition to managing your moods and stress level, these 7 foods can help you gain an overall feeling of wellness, aid in weight loss, and keep your memory sharp. All of these will help you achieve a better feeling of overall wellness. And, who can stop from smiling when they feel that great?


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