Even when life gets hard and sometimes feels difficult to handle, you can have more control over how you feel than you might think!

What and how you EAT & what you DO can make a big difference in your MOOD!

  • Certain vitamins and minerals, found in foods you eat, help determine how you feel.

The B Vitamins, specifically B6, B12, and folic acid,have been shown in studies to fight depression! These vitamins can also improve your sleep, help you feel calm and give you more energy for work and play. 

Foods rich in B vitamins include:  leafy green vegetables, oranges, nuts and seeds, fortified breads, cereals and whole grains, and meats.  Many people include a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement to get enough also.

Minerals like calcium and magnesium can also help you feel calm and happy and even decrease cravings! Iron, another mineral, can help you feel calm and keep you focused

Good food sources of calcium & magnesium include: dairy products, nuts & seeds, beans and peas, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and chocolate. Iron sources include: red meats, fortified & enriched breads, cereals, and grains, green leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas.

  • Whole foods can help with your mood and beat stress too!

Healthy oils, rich in Omega 3 fats, can lift depression and help you feel calmer!

Best sources include: fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and walnuts and flax seed.

Lean proteins- from meat, fish, chicken, dried beans & peas, nuts & seeds, and low fat and non fat dairy - can give you more focus and concentration and an energy boost!

Watch out for sugar and refined carbohydrates: Starches & sweets without many fiber or nutrients, which can make you feel irritable, shaky and tired after eating them.

Remember to watch the amount of everything you eat too!  Too much food altogether can make you feel sluggish and low.

And, pay attention to how much you MOVE!  Moving your body can be just as effective as any food or medicine in lifting your mood and helping you feel happy!


Written by Mary Jo Parker, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Consultant to Personal Touch Food Services, Inc.