Good-Mood Foods

Daily Health Solutions, Featured Article, Healthy Recipes and Nutrition, Nutrition
on April 1, 2011
Mark Boughton Photography/ styling by Teresa Blackburn

Omega all-stars
Salmon, walnuts, canola oil
In addition to protecting your heart, eyes and joints, research now links omega 3s to fighting depression and possibly even dementia. Aim for 2 to 3 servings a week. Also found in flaxseed, tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel and anchovies.

The B6 team
Fortified cereals, avocados, bananas
Vitamin B6 aids in the production of serotonin, which helps prevent mood swings and anxiety. Experts recommend 3 servings of B6 foods daily. Red bell peppers, spinach, potatoes, chicken and nuts are also good sources.

The carb club
Whole grains, popcorn, oatmeal
Your brain needs carbohydrates to produce serotonin. Aim for 6-10  servings of complex carbohydrates rich in whole grains and fiber daily. To avoid blood sugar dips (and the corresponding crankiness), combine good carbs with lean protein.

B12 bunch
Dairy, beef, chicken
Vitamin B12 may fight depression and fatigue. B12 is found only in animal foods that can be high in saturated fat. Choose options like skinless chicken breasts and lean dairy products like Daisy Lowfat Cottage Cheese. If you’re under age 50, shoot for 2-3 servings daily and at least 3 servings a day if you’re 50-plus.

Company C
Citrus, broccoli, kiwifruit
Yet another player in the development of funk-fighting neurotransmitters like serotonin, vitamin C may also offer anti-aging properties—now, that’ll really boost your mood. Aim for at least 2 servings daily. Cantaloupe, red bell peppers and strawberries also contain C.