These 11 Foods Are Scientifically Proven to Boost Your Mood

SPINACH

Dark green veggies are rich in folate, a B vitamin that affects the mood-controlling neurotransmitters in your brain. Yay, science.

CITRUS

Mandarins, clementines, navel oranges, grapefruit, you name it. They’re all packed with folate, a B vitamin that’s an instant mood booster.

BANANAS

Three reasons to make this ingredient a smoothie staple: potassium (improves brain function), B6 (increases serotonin, which calms the body) and tryptophan (the happy amino acid that regulates mood).

SWISS CHARD

Magnesium gives you an instant shot of energy and also staves off depression. Plus, it’s one of the nutrients lacking in the average diet, so sauté some up as a regular side dish.

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Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and stabilizing your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. But by using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.

How does a healthy diet affect mental and emotional health?

We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, or in the increased risk of suicide in young people.

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THE TRICK TO LOVING SCANDINAVIAN SALT LICORICE IS TO STOP THINKING IT’S CANDY

A salt licorice flavor found across Scandinavia, I spit it out on a Copenhagen street corner. It wasn’t that this powerful little pastille was bad. It’s just that my taste buds had never quite been lit up that way: smacked with a layer of sharp and sour salt dust, then soothed by something bitter and caramel-sweet. It felt simultaneously fascinating and…abusive? Or at least odd, like a knocked funny bone. It wasn’t until the second or third try that my confusion turned to appreciation. Addiction came soon after, which coincidentally is how you could define the Nordic relationship to the confection.

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