In a parody of Frank Sinatra's song "I'm in the Mood for Love," lyricist Airfarcewon writes, "I'm in the mood for food/Simply because it's near me/Hungry, because it's near me/I'm in the mood for food."
Food and mood can make for an amusing rhyme — but they do a whole lot more than that. It turns out that food actually plays a big role in triggering and sustaining your moods, whether happy or sad.
An emerging field of research called nutritional psychiatry is uncovering strong connections between what you eat and your state of mind. It's based on the fact that your gut biome depends on a healthy mix of phytochemicals and nutrients to appropriately produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
A study in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry states, "In recent years, it has become clear that the gut microbiome is in communication with the brain ... [and] that the gut microbiome plays a shaping role in a variety of psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder."
Another seven-year study found that people who increased their consumption of fruits and veggies rated themselves much happier than those who didn't. And the SMILES trial found that almost 33% of people with diagnosed depression who switched to eating a plant-based diet reported their depression faded.
Some of the best mood-enhancing foods are beans and lentils; salmon (canned or fresh), herring, anchovies, and sardines; and frozen or fresh produce.
So ditch disease-promoting, brain-dulling added sugars and syrups, red meats, and ultra-processed foods.
Instead, raise your spirits with good-mood foods.