10 Mood-Boosting Ingredients to Stock Up On


Did you know that in times of stress, it is beneficial to reach for nutrient-dense foods? In particular, certain foods that build neurotransmitters, which can help boost mood and energy.

Here are 10 foods high in these healthy hormones and other nutrients to keep you energized:

1: Eggs

Eggs act as one of nature’s multivitamins. They are full of vitamins, minerals and protein. The yolks are a great source of choline, which is believed to improve memory and overall mental function.

2: Flax Seeds

With high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium, flax seeds can be easily added to a variety of meals to ensure a healthy brain and proper levels of neurotransmitters. Helpful tip: Add some ground flax to oatmeal for a quick boost of these nutrients. You can also find oatmeal with flax already mixed in.

3: Greek Yogurt

Packed with protein, zinc and B12, Greek yogurt is a great snack for providing nutrients to support nervous system health and tissue repair with how much protein is has. It’s also a versatile ingredient that can be used to replace oil in baking, and to replace sour cream in a variety of dishes.

4: Lentils

Legumes are a perfect combination of complex carbohydrates and protein to help increase absorption of tryptophan, while their high iron levels help enhance neurotransmitter activity, important components for stress and fatigue. Be sure to pair lentils with another protein source to get all the amino acids to make a complete protein.

5: Nutritional Yeast

Sounds gross, I know, but it is such an awesome ingredient! Sometimes referred to as “nooch,” this plant-based powerhouse is packed with energy-enhancing, stress-reducing B-vitamins, which are essential to make sure neurotransmitters are made in proper amounts in addition to converting tryptophan to serotonin.

6: Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of neurotransmitter-building magnesium, which is also good for digestion and muscle soreness. They contain a mixture of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates, making them a perfect snack to balance your energy and mood throughout the day.

7: Raspberries

Raspberries are packed with an abundance of vitamin C and fiber. They help fill the increased need for vitamin C when our body is stressed-out. The fiber keeps our gut working well to support digestion and overall health.

8: Red Cabbage

Antioxidant-rich red cabbage is full of phytochemicals and may help the body deal with stress. These nutrients are also known to protect the brain from memory loss.

9: Salmon

Studies suggest eating salmon a couple of times per week helps prevent depression and dementia. The fish has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which is known to boost brain health. Specifically, consuming adequate levels of monounsaturated fats is essential in boosting serotonin levels and maintaining adequate brain health.

10: Quinoa

Eating animal protein along with a whole grain like quinoa can help increase the absorption of the amino acid tryptophan, which is an essential building block for increasing serotonin. Not only will it help boost your mood and improve sleep quality, but quinoa is also a great source of magnesium and B-vitamins, key actors in neurotransmitter creation.