Good mood food: 10 foods that will lift your spirits

Written by: Angelika Varga, 15.02.2020


Sometimes these periods of feeling low just don’t leave us alone. How long can this bad mood be withstood? To put an end to feelings of depression, we have put together a list of 10 so-called happy foods that will help to put you in a good mood.


Why does it work?

Serotonin, a messenger substance for nerve cells, is, among other things, responsible for our happy feelings. Our bodies produce it on their own. Serotonin controls our feeling of satiety and ensures serenity, harmony and satisfaction.

A serotonin deficiency, on the other hand, manifests itself in symptoms such as a depressed mood, anxiety, aggression and increased appetite. Therefore, it makes sense to maintain your serotonin level at an all time high. In order for the “happiness hormone” to be produced, the amino acid tryptophan is required, which can be found in everyday foods.

Here is our list:

1. Bananas

In addition to tryptophan, the yellow tropical fruit also contains a lot of vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B5 and C and is therefore a really healthy mood-enhancer. It is ripe when the peel is covered with black dots and only then it tastes really sweet. Due to the high amount of magnesium, it also has an antispasmodic effect.

2. Flaxseed

This regional superfood is full of essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, which our body cannot produce by itself. They also have a positive effect on your digestive system because they swell up in the intestines. When crushed, it can be absorbed better by our body. Flaxseed oil is also a real miracle weapon against depression. It also lifts your mood and has the ability to increase mental performance.

3. Dates

The bread of the desert has a very high concentration of trace elements, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Not only your happiness benefits from the contained tryptophan. If dates are eaten in the evening, they contribute to a deeper and generally better sleep. This makes them the perfect alternative to unhealthy sweets because unlike chocolate, they hardly contain any fat.

4. Cashews

Strictly speaking, this “nut” is actually a fruit and with its healthy unsaturated fatty acids, protects the cardiovascular system when consumed in moderation. In stressful situations, they provide you with magnesium and the high tryptophan content creates an antidepressant effect as well.

5. Onions

The oldest cultivated plant in the world is a real miracle worker. Onions are used in naturopathy, among other things, for respiratory diseases such as coughs and runny nose. It also alleviates stomach and intestinal problems. The vapors often make us cry when we cook. However, it is precisely these essential oils that can inhibit inflammation and germs. Onion juice is known to help against anxiety and depression.

6. Chickpeas

Chickpeas have a high tryptophan content and help keep you in a good mood. They are available pre-cooked in cans or dried. If dried, they need to be left to soak overnight, cooked and then made into stews or puree (hummus). They also contain iron, B vitamins and calcium. In addition, with 20g protein per 100g, it represents a high-quality vegetable protein source, which is ideal as a meat substitute.

7. Avocado

This green berry is a real nutrient bomb. It is rich in healthy simple fatty acids, which our body uses for the production of hormones and can therefore bring the entire hormone system into balance if consumed regularly. As soon as the peel gives way to pressure, it is ripe and edible. The avocado also provides the important building material tryptophan to ensure a good mood.

8. Quinoa

This pseudo-grain, also called the Inca magic grain, amazes with its high content of protein, minerals and is also gluten-free. In addition, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids and is therefore particularly valuable for those who do not eat meat. It is available in red, black and white variations and makes us happy because of its tryptophan content.

9. Chili

The fiery pod is one of the healthiest drugs in the world. Our body perceives its pungent taste as pain and, as a countermeasure, releases the happiness hormone endorphin, which causes a lot of happiness. Furthermore, their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects protect our body from bacteria and fungi.

10. Dark chocolate

The black gold is considered a classic among those foods that provide you with happiness. But what is it about the claim that chocolate makes you happy? Tryptophan can also be found in chocolate. However, only in a very low concentration, which is why it is assumed that chocolate makes you happy for different reasons. Rather, it is about psychology. Because most of us have learned from childhood to combine chocolate enjoyment with positive feelings, which is why we instantly feel happy by eating a piece.

All in all, we from STUWO recommend a balanced diet as well as exercise on a daily basis, ideally in nature, in the fresh air and in the sunshine in order to be in a good mood for a long period of time! However, if you feel overwhelmed or the bad thoughts and feelings tend to overpower you, we suggest you get professional help!



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