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by Ariel Johnston, RD, LD

Can certain foods affect your mood?

The relationship between food and your mood is a complicated one. While studies are a work in progress, there are some things science can tell us about dietary patterns and how they may impact your state of mind. Today, we look into these factors to help you be more mindful of what you chew on.**

Can certain foods affect your mood?

Eating complex carbs**

Your body needs carbohydrates to function.Clinical researchers have found that when you stop eating carbs, your brain stops regulating serotonin, a feel-good chemical that helps promote calmness and may lessen depression. Carbohydrate consumption naturally stimulates the production of serotonin. Carbohydrates in the form of whole grains provide lasting satiety and more fiber that may assist with your physical health.

Adding essential nutrients** 

Certain nutrients like selenium are important. The brain has a higher uptake of this nutrient than any other tissue. Deficiency may cause hyperactivity, defensiveness and aggressiveness. Zinc is another important nutrient.Studies have shown that zinc supplementation together with certain antidepressants may increase the effectiveness by 50%.

Filling up on fruits & veggies**

These aren’t just good for your body, they are good for your mind, too! Studies have shown that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of depression and anxiety. In fact, some people rate their mood better on days that they eat more fruits and vegetables. 

Can certain foods affect your mood?

Opting for fish**

Fish is an important part of the diet because it provides Omega-3 fatty acids which play an important part in brain function. Getting Omega-3s from food is recommended. Some sources include tuna, salmon, sardines, herring, flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts. If you are lacking any of these in your diet, an Omega-3 supplement may be a good idea as research shows that taking a fish oil supplement may also improve select symptoms.

Taking vitamin D**

Vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin because our bodies can produce it when we are exposed to sunlight. This becomes more difficult in the winter. 

Studies have shown that participants with low vitamin D either suffered from depression or were at greater risk for depression. Consider it your cue to stock up on vitamin D supplements or foods with ample supply, like fatty fish, cheese or egg yolks.

Can certain foods affect your mood?

Maintaining gut bacteria**

Along with helping your gut, probiotics may also help support mental health. The link is unclear but the gut-brain connection is an exploding area of research. One small study found that 64 percent of people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression who took a daily probiotic for six weeks had fewer depression symptoms during that time. Looking to add more probiotic foods to your diet? Some sources include yogurt, kefir, fermented foods and kombucha. 

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There you have it, some food for thought! While we love this insight, we also recommend discussing your health goals with your licensed healthcare professional. They can best provide you with the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and assist you as well in deciding whether a dietary supplement will be a helpful addition to your regimen.

**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.