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Giuseppe Arcimboldo, l'Eté, 1563

20 Food Items For Good Mood

Translated by Rédacteur

"Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are." It is well known. How about "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you how you feel" ? If it is obvious that the way we eat influences our health, it also plays a role in regulating our emotions.


Thus, some types of food contribute positively to our mood. This is partly due to serotonin, called ''happiness hormone''. Known since antiquity, the natural properties of food are recommended by the Hippocratic medicine. "Let your food be your only medicine," he said.

Small info on serotonin: it is a messenger of the central nervous system which is involved in several physiological functions such as sleep, aggressiveness, behavior towards nutrition and sexuality as well as depression. Neurons responsible for the production of serotonin are serotonergic neurons. The decrease in activity of these neurons would be associated with depression, including suicidal depression.

Serotonin is a molecule formed of:

10 carbon atoms (in black) are combined in several rings represented in blue

12 hydrogen atoms (white) on the image.

2 nitrogen atoms (blue) and one oxygen atom (red)

                  The cell bodies of serotoninergic neurons are combined into several rings represented in blue on the image.

Do not panic though, whether your morale is low or if you want to keep your mood on the up every day, here is a list of nutraceuticals or functional foods that help fight against stress:

  • Salmon: superstar among the fish in many countries, it is saturated with omega-3s and uridine. It allows a better control of anxiety and has an anti-depressant effect. This is also the case with other fatty fish such as tuna, sardines ...

  • Mussels: rich in zinc, iodine and selenium, they contribute to nervous balance.

  • Eggs: they possess vitamin D, which increases the production of serotonin and intellectual capabilities.

  • Avocado: rich in vitamin B3, it regulates serotonin.

  •  Broccoli: also a regulatory role.

  • Lemon and Citrus  fruits: vitamin C present in citrus reduces stress, and folic acid, a vitamin B group, contributes to the formation of serotonin.

  • Spinach: with folic acid they contain, they regulate serotonin.

  • Warm Milk: it contains casein, a protein that fights against stress.

  • Turkey: it contains tryptophan, amino acid precursors of sleep hormone, which are converted by the body into serotonin and thus make it possible to relax.

  • Chocolate: has a soothing role because it helps release endorphins, hormones of pleasure, thanks to phenylethylamines (neurotransmitters) These are opioid compounds which possess analgesic capacity and provide a well-being. 

  •  Asparagus: they help the regulation of serotonin.

  • Bananas: rich in potassium, it helps lower blood pressure.

  • Almonds: as nuts and dried fruits, they are part of a food group powerfully anti-stress and energizing. Vitamin B6 contained in almonds helps convert tryptophan into serotonin.

  •  Lobster: containing many more tryptophan than any other food, it most influences our temperament.

  • Lenses: they are rich in vitamins B9 (folate) Folic acid deficiency is associated with depression. They are also complex carbohydrates which release insulin and promote relaxation.

  •  Berries: the large amount of vitamin C present in these fruits can boost the production of serotonin.

  • bread: it brings serotonin and a calming role.

  • Rice: soothes mood.

  • Pasta: they also play this role.

    However , choose wholegrain starchy foods, beacause their regulatory role is more effective.

  • Sugar: such as chocolate, it regulates insulin which promotes relaxation. To consume with moderation. Avoid refined sugar, which adds nothing to the body and prefer the brown sugar.

Conversely: foods that contain trans fats, reduce serotonin levels. This is the case fries, chips, hamburgers, breaded foods, mayonnaise, sweets and industrial pastries and fried foods in general.

Note: All B vitamins help to increase the level of serotonin in the brain.

So, bon appétit !


Sources : Le cerveau à tous les niveaux, amelioretasante.com, simplementbrillant.ca, Femme d'aujourd'hui.

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