Sweets and refined carbs might make you feel good while you eat them and right after, but once your blood sugar spikes and then drops, you’ll feel drained and moody. Find out which foods can actually contribute to a better mood, and give you more energy.
From important nutrients that help your brain function to delicious treats that can help you on your period or when you’re sick, here are the top foods that make you feel better.
1. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids can help when you’re feeling down, and have even been proved to make a big difference when it comes to depression. Cold water fatty fish are one of the best sources of omega-3s. Eating as little as two portions every week can make a difference, and the fatty acids can also help when you’re dealing with muscle and joint pain. Look for low mercury options like wild Pacific salmon, farmed catfish, haddock, summer flounder and croaker.
2. Brazil Nuts
Nuts and seeds are rich in selenium, so they’re one of the foods that make you feel better. Brazil nuts are among the best sources of this mineral, which reduces oxidative stress in the brain. Seeds and nuts are also rich in vitamin E, so they can help you when you’re dealing with allergies that are bringing you down.
One of the best sources of protein, eggs are more filling than starchy foods, and they’re one of the best brain foods around. They don’t just help you stay focused, they also provide you with choline, vitamins B12 and D, along with omega-3s, all important nutrients for your brain, especially when you’re feeling moody.
With as little as half a cup of berries, you’ll get a healthy dose of antioxidants, which also help boost your immune system. Whether you prefer blackberries, blueberries or raspberries, they’re among the foods that make you feel better, and they also contain quercetin, which can help a lot when you’re struggling with allergy symptoms.
See also: Best Seeds and Nuts for Weight Loss
5. Chicken Soup
It’s the best way to get over a cold, but you should also give chicken soup a try when you’re feeling blue or just tired. It definitely deserves to be on your list of comfort foods, and it can help improve your mood instantly. With as little as 8 ounces of warm chicken soup, you can turn around a bad day.
Whole grains are important to your mood for a wide variety of reasons, and oats are one of your best options. Since they contain complex carbs, they’ll be digested slower than refined ones, giving you energy for longer. Oats and other whole grains are also among the foods that make you feel better because they can help reduce heartburn, and they’re an excellent source of magnesium, which can make a big difference to your mood, especially in the first 5 days of your period.
7. Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
With two servings of veggies and fruits every day, you’re not just doing your overall health a big favor, you can also boost your mood. You should opt for colorful ones, since they pack the biggest nutritional punch, and the fiber they provide can also help during your period, when your digestive transit slows down, and you feel constipated and bloated.
8. Dark Chocolate
Milk chocolate may be sweeter, but dark chocolate is one of the foods that make you feel better, while also being good for you. The high cocoa content provides your with plenty of antioxidants, and can also boost your endorphins. Another benefit of eating 1 oz of dark chocolate every day is a decreased risk of heart disease.
9. Green Tea
A strong cup of coffee might make you feel better for a while, but it can also wreak havoc on your mood. When you’re trying to eat to boost your mood, reduce the coffee intake, and replace it with green tea. It will give you energy for longer and improve the way you feel thanks to plenty of antioxidants.
More: Diet Mistakes That Slow Down Your Metabolism
10. Fortified Dairy
Your body can produce enough vitamin D when you spend a lot of time in the sun, but fortified dairy is a much better option. Low-fat dairy, that’s been fortified with vitamin D, has an important place beside the other foods that make you feel better, and natural Greek yogurt also contains probiotics that can also have a positive impact on your mood.