Bite Back At Stress with These 8 Mood-Boosting Foods

Bite Back At Stress with These 8 Mood-Boosting Foods

Let’s face it: life is full of curveballs - the only thing we can control is how we respond to them.

The frustrating thing for those of us with long-term health goals is that often, our urge when feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or just plain blah is to tuck into our favorite comfort foods for some warm, fuzzy feelings.

Unfortunately, we all know that greasy takeout, pizza, or a pint of ice cream won’t really help us. Science says they may actually make us feel worse. So that’s where mood-boosting foods enter the chat.

These healthy foods act like natural happiness enhancers, blues busters, and stress relievers. They won’t sabotage your goals or performance in the name of relief. They even taste good!

Sound too good to be true? Let’s ditch the doomscrolling and dive into the world of treats to optimize your moods, brain health, nervous system, and more.

In Search Of: Foods To Make Me Less Stressed

Research shows that our diet plays a major role in our mental health and overall well-being — after all, 20% of your daily calories go to fueling your noggin.

Indulging in sugary desserts, fried foods, and processed carbohydrates increases inflammation and oxidative stress, which may be the primary drivers of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and mental fatigue. Noshing low-density foods devoid of nutrients also skyrockets irritability and crummy vibes.

On the other hand, healthy foods lower inflammation and your risk of depression. Their amino acids, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients power the production of neurotransmitters (“feel-good” chemicals like serotonin and dopamine).

So, let’s redefine “comfort foods” to refer to whole foods that help rewire your brain for happiness and resilience. We’ll call these:

8 Mood-Boosting Foods To Make Me Happier

Researchers agree that a healthy eating plan like the Mediterranean diet, which is high in superfoods like fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and legumes, reduces the risk of depression and may relieve anxiety and depressive symptoms.

These eight foods can help unleash your inner sunshine:

1. Coffee: The OG Mood Booster

Coffee works wonders for our mental health. Those magic beans are loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols that lower inflammation and release neurotransmitters that fuel good moods. Studies show both caffeinated and decaf coffee offer incredible antidepressant and positive mood superpowers.

☕ Upgrade your coffee game with our Organic Antioxidant Coffee to stress less and smile more.

2. Dark, Leafy Greens: Your Garden of Zen

Spinach, kale, and other leafy green superstars are bursting with vitamin C, folate, and other B vitamins. This A-Team for your noggin has been linked to higher energy levels, better emotional states, and lower depression rates.

These veggies are also rich in magnesium, an essential mineral that helps regulate moods and combat anxiety. More than half of Americans don’t reach their magnesium goal, which is terrible news. Low magnesium levels increase stress, which further depletes magnesium, creating a vicious cycle.

Don't forget, leafy greens aren't just for salads! Add a big handful to your smoothie to sneak extra nutrients into your day.

3. Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Your Brain’s BFF

Lion’s Mane mushroom is an adaptogen, a natural plant or mushroom that helps your body “adapt to” stress. So rather than letting frustrating situations get the best of you, you’ll feel cool as a cucumber under pressure. Lion’s Mane mushroom is thought to decrease inflammation, support brain function, and reduce stress to boost overall well-being.

🍄 Need a snack that feels like a mini-vacation for your stressed-out brain? Our Superfood Focus Bites are packed with Lion's Mane mushroom!

4. Avocado: Creamy Comfort for the Soul

This trendy fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) is a powerhouse of mood-boosting nutrients. Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, B vitamins (especially vitamin B6), magnesium, and potassium — a crew that helps regulate feel-good neurotransmitters enhances good vibes, and promotes better sleep. Avocados also contain the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, that may prevent depressed and anxious moods.

5. MCT Oil: Fueling Your Focus and Mood

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a healthy fat found in coconut oil. They’re absorbed quickly and beeline to your brain, making a readily available energy source that elevates cognitive performance and blasts through fatigue. MCTs also thought to reduce inflammation to lessen mood imbalances.

🧠 Give your brain a leg-up with The Good Stuff™, our ultimate performance coffee supplement with MCTs!

6. Omega-3-Rich Seeds

Every nutritionist and dietitian recommends sardines, tuna, and other fatty fish because they’re bursting with essential omega-3 fatty acids our bodies can’t make (but our brain craves!). Studies show that nearly 70% of us are deficient in omega-3s. While low intake increases stress, boosting dietary omega-3s decreases stress levels, minimizes depression symptoms, reduces the risk of depression, and balances mood.

Not into fish? Sprinkle more flax, chia, and hemp seeds into your life. They’re some of the best plant-based omega-3 sources.

7. Dark Chocolate: The Guilt-Free Brain Treat

Dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao is rich in flavanols and polyphenols. These potent antioxidants are tied to better cognitive function, reduced stress levels, and sunnier moods. Researchers even say that cocoa compounds such as theobromine act like natural antidepressants to almost instantly lift your spirits, producing a relaxing, stress-relieving effect.

🍫 Add a scoop of The Good Stuff™ Focus to your coffee to snag the mood-boosting benefits of theobromine in every sip!

8. “Psychobiotics” and Prebiotics

Thanks to the gut-brain axis, your gut health is directly linked to your mood. Healthy gut bacteria are responsible for over 90% of your serotonin levels. That’s why it’s vital to cultivate healthy gut flora (and combat nefarious gut bacteria) with prebiotics and psychobiotics, a group of probiotics that exert favorable effects on your mental health.

Probiotics include fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso. They can restore gut balance, decrease cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and reduce inflammation. Daily probiotic consumption has also been correlated with better moods.

Prebiotics feed and encourage the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria. They also help combat stress and may enhance mental health. Our Superfood Focus Bites contain yacon roots, a prebiotic that supports the growth of the live probiotic bacteria you get from your diet!

How To Eat More Stress-Reducing Foods

To capture all the perks of these goodies and better manage stress levels:

  • Combine them with your other dietary staples. Coffee’s probably part of your morning ritual. So adding a scoop of The Good Stuff Focus provides MCTs, theobromine, and L-Theanine (an amino acid found in green tea that promotes relaxation and reduces the jitters) to double down on synergistic wellness benefits.
  • Practice mindful eating. Taking the time to savor your food and appreciate its taste and aroma can be incredibly calming and stress-reducing. So, put down your phone, focus on your meal, and enjoy every bite!

For Wellness, For Happiness, For You

Incorporating these mood-boosting foods into your routine can be a delicious way to give your well-being a little nudge in the right direction. While they can support your mental health journey, food is just one piece of the puzzle.

Regular exercise, good sleep hygiene, and social connection are all crucial for optimal moods and stress management. So, experiment, find what works for you, and be gentle with yourself as you navigate the path to a happier, calmer you! Our stress-busting snacks and performance coffee supplements will be there to give your brain the nourishing TLC it deserves. ❤️

Written by Lauren Ciccarelli, a writer and research geek passionate about low-carb nutrition, mental health, and meditation. Her 2,500+ articles empower doers with science-backed tips for leveled-up living.

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