Mood swings and oscillations between happy and sad or motivated and demotivated are common but rarely do we pause to consider their root causes. It’s true that a change in diet alone may not be an adequate treatment for depression and other mood disorders; however, proper nutrition is an integral part of an overarching treatment plan. 

Diet does influence mood. It’s even possible for changes in our diet to bring about changes in our brain chemistry and composition. In a real way, what we put into our bodies shapes who we are. 

Here are a handful of helpful tips for boosting your mood with food. 

Load up on Omega-3. 

Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can help to combat depression and contribute to positive mental health. Omega-3 is found in fish, walnuts, and flaxseed. It’s an easy addition to a balanced diet and can help boost mood with only 2-3 servings of fish a week. 

Eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

It almost goes without saying: eating fruits, vegetables, and nuts that are fresh and aren’t processed could be one of the best things for your mental health. Try eating something similar to the Mediterranean diet. Foods commonly associated with the Mediterranean–fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, and fish–are loaded with B12. B12 helps to combat depression and positively contribute to positive mental health. 

Search for selenium. 

A study from Texas Tech suggests that microdosing selenium improved rates of depression–particularly among elderly participants. Instead of getting it from supplements, get your dose of selenium from whole foods. Seafood, nuts, legumes, lean meat, and whole grains all contain selenium. Essentially, stay away from highly processed food that’s devoid of the nutrients your body needs. 

Limit caffeine intake. 

Caffeine intake late in the day can hinder healthy sleeping patterns and contribute to symptoms of depression. On top of that, caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety. If you’re feeling particularly anxious, laying off the coffee for a while might help improve your mood. 

The best thing that you can do for your health–both mental and physical–is to eat a balanced diet that is filled with vitamins and nutrients you need. Fit Five Meals makes it easy. By providing fresh food that fits your life, Fit Five Meals allows you to choose your own meals, set a pickup location, and enjoy your food. Each meal is well balanced and packed with good food to fuel your positive mental health.