Good Mood Foods

Ready to feel calm, capable and HAPPIER? Focus on Good Mood Foods!

For fastest progress toward better mood and digestion, stick largely to the foods on these lists for awhile. When you suddenly realize how seriously food is affecting your mood and life, it’s totally overwhelming to try to figure out a new way! It’s always WAY easier to focus on what you CAN have.

You can have a lot!

What makes a ‘Good Mood’ Food?

 

~ They Nourish Important Systems ~

These specific foods feed, soothe, and heal the body systems that contribute directly to your outlook, anxiety, and mood. The main systems in this case are the brain, digestion, adrenal/hormonal, and nervous systems.

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~ Anti-inflammatory; They Don’t Aggravate ~

 Allergies or specific sensitivities aside, no food on these lists will aggravate the systems that are directly connected to your good mood.

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~ Easy to Digest, & Very Low Allergen ~

Most of the foods on these lists are very low allergen or allergen free. But these lists are not 100% allergen-free. Continue to avoid foods that you are sensitive to.

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~ Essential Nutrients ~

Every food on these lists is nutrient-dense, and specific to your mood related systems: your brain, digestion, adrenal/hormonal, and nervous systems, and your blood sugar. Most of the foods on these lists could even be called super foods!

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~ Blood Sugar Friendly ~

The foods on these lists have the benefit of evening out blood sugar. The idea is to keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing long enough to get out of the bad mood/anxiety loop.

Specific foods to include to kick-start your Happiness

High quality protein in regular doses throughout the day. You can easily get your full requirement of protein from plants, beans, and a few specific gut and brain-friendly grains. No animals required!

Why?

The biggest ways:

Protein helps stabilize blood sugar- low blood sugar is a main physiological cause of overwhelm, sadness, anxiety, and stress feelings. In simple terms, protein supports the ability of your body to create and regulate “happiness hormones”.  

To be proactive and avoid tons of imaginary stress completely, eat small protein snacks all day long. I like to call it a “slow drip”.  Combining this with some “good fats” and veggie fiber is ideal.

If you have kidney problems, find a nutritionist that is willing to work with your doctor. Kidney problems can be aggravated by too much of the wrong types of protein.

The Proper Amount of Protein

The Daily recommended intake is 46 grams per day for the “average” sedentary 127 pound woman (ehem!), and 56 grams for the “average” sedentary 156 pound man. That’s .36 grams per pound of body weight.

Food for Thought:

There is reasonable controversy over this number, since recommendations to repeatedly raise protein requirements come from “Protein Summits” in Washington that are sponsored by organizations such as the Beef Checkoff Program and the National Dairy Council. These groups sell protein for a living! No wonder they keep wanting to raise the requirements!

Stick close to these numbers, unless you have a trustworthy expert telling you otherwise.

Lots and lots of veggies have plenty of protein to get you through the day!

“The Best“ Veggie Protein Sources

 

 Most vegetables have protein in them! Here are some of the ones with the highest protein content.

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    Mushrooms

     
     
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    Sun-Dried Tomatoes

     
     
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    Potato Skins

     
     
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    Sprouts

     
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    Brussell Sprouts

     
     
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    Broccoli

     
     
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    All leafy greens like spinach, collard, beet greens, cabbage, kale, etc

     

Superpower your veggie intake by getting at least one serving of probiotic fermented veggies per day, preferably 3. Fermented veggies help heal the gut lining, improving digestion (and mood) over time!

Many grains and legumes can promote happiness. Many grains will actually negatively affect your digestion and your mood. Stick to the ones on this list for the most part, and avoid others as much as possible. See the “Bad Mood Foods” page for more details.

Protein Sources

 
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    Seeds: Especially chia, hemp, sunflower, walnuts, cashews, flax

     
     
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    Quinoa

     
     
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    Adzuki Beans

     
     
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    Mung Beans

     
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    Buckwheat

     
     
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    Brown Rice

     
     
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    Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans

     
     
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    Lentils

     
     
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    Black Beans

Fiber is super important for your digestion and mood stabilizing.

There are 2 types, and both are important. Fiber pushes everything else through and helps it assimilate, to put it simply. This keeps your insides clean, so that old food is not fermenting or rotting in your guts.

Food actually rots and ferments in your stomach and intestines if you don’t move it through with fiber!


That fermenting process that occurs with lack of fiber can turn to toxins that affect your health and emotions!  Fiber helps you stay feeling full longer, and keeps blood sugar more steady.

Vegetables are your best bet for fiber! Fast snack varieties like carrots and celery, or even a salad are great on the go!

When food stays in your digestive tract too long, it will ferment and release toxins that negatively impact your health and your emotions!
 
A combination of both kinds of fiber keeps your intestines clean and regular, so that food is not fermenting or rotting in your guts. It also helps regulate your blood sugar, which is directly related to your emotional ups and downs.
 
There are two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both play special roles in your emotional and digestive health.
This is what people commonly call “roughage”. This type of fiber doesn’t get broken down by water or absorb into your bloodstream. It actually creates the bulk for your bowel movements, and pushes waste through your digestive tract to keep you healthy.
 
While insoluble fiber will keep you regular and help prevent constipation, you definitely need soluble fiber to complete the process.
Soluble fiber absorbs water, and mixes with your digestive juices to form a soothing gel-like substance that coats your intestines and nurtures your good gut bacteria. This has a direct connection to how you feel emotionally day to day.
 
The gel created by soluble fiber also lubricates your digestive tract. This allows the bulk of your waste to glide through and eliminate with ease. That sounds pretty important now, doesn’t it?
 
Soluble fiber also helps regulate blood sugar, which is directly related to stabilizing your moods and outlook in life! It does this by binding to sugars and slowing the rate at which sugars absorb into your bloodstream, or preventing the sugars from absorbing at all.

Insoluble Fiber

 
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    Peas

     
     
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    Brussell Sprouts

     
     
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    Artichokes

     
     
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    Parsnips

     
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    Greens/Broccoli

     
     
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    Sweet Potato

     
     
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    Squash

     
     
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    Nuts and Seeds

Soluble Fiber

 
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    Brussell Sprouts

     
     
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    Peas

     
     
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    Apples

     
     
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    Lentils

     
     
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    Beans

     
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    Nuts and Seeds

     
     
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    Pears

     
     
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    Avocado

     
     
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    Figs

Yep, fats! We have all heard about these “good fats”.

Good fats help sooth and heal the stomach lining, helping nutrients get into the bloodstream to feed your body. They are integral to the health of the central nervous system, which processes emotions. Omega fats also play a big role in restoring brain cells’ structural integrity. All of this leads to mood, anxiety, and outlook improvement.

Use organic varieties of the oils mentioned, with the words “cold-pressed” on the bottle to avoid unlisted chemical exposure.  And with nuts also, organic is preferred. Non-organic nuts and seeds get gassed for a variety of “reasons”, and oils are often processed with chemicals.

Best Fats Sources

 
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    Flax seed and oil

     
     
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    Coconut oil

     
     
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    Coconut milk

     
     
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    Hemp Seeds

     
     
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    Chia Seeds

     
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    Walnuts

     
     
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    Olive oil

     
     
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    Fish

     
     
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    and high quality fish oils

     
     
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    Egg yolks

     

Best fish options are mackerel, salmon, herring, and cod liver oil.

Yep, fats! We have all heard about these good fats. But what do they do for your mood? And how do you get them?

 
Our bodies do not make omega- 3 or omega-6 fats, and we have to obtain them from food sources to be healthy and happy.
 
These specific fats aid in neuroplasticity, which is basically the brain’s ability to reorganize itself and form new thinking patterns and neural pathways throughout life. This is very important when you’re trying to get over a past event, create a better outlook, or form a new habit!
 
Thoughts and feelings are habitual, and can be changed! But not without proper nutrition and these essential fatty acids.
 
Omega fats are also healing to the digestive tract and nervous system, which is directly connected to mood, anxiety and outlook. Besides this, they help regulate blood sugar. Blood sugar swings can wreak havoc on your mood and outlook!

Choose your oils wisely.

 
Use organic varieties of the oils mentioned, with the words “cold pressed” on the bottle, to avoid unlisted chemical exposure. And with nuts also, organic is preferred.
 
Non-organic nuts and seeds get gassed with harsh chemicals for a variety of “reasons”. When you choose fish as a source, make sure it has been sustainably caught.
 
Choose your oils wisely: for high-heat cooking above 350°, use avocado oil or grapeseed oil. For other, low or no-heat oil use, stick with olive oil and coconut oil.
Use organic varieties of the oils mentioned, with the words “cold pressed” on the bottle, to avoid unlisted chemical exposure. And with nuts also, organic is preferred.
 
 Choose your oils wisely: for high-heat cooking above 350°, use avocado oil or grapeseed oil. For other, low or no-heat oil use, stick with olive oil and coconut oil.

Omega-3 Sources

 
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    Cold Water Fish

     
     
  • salmon

    Salmon

     
     
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    Sardines

     
     
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    Mackerel

     
     
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    Greens

     
     
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    Gut-friendly Grains

     
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    Flax Seeds

     
     
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    Walnuts

     
     
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    Spirulina

     
     
  • pumpkin seeds

    Pumpkin Seeds

     
     
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    Brazil Nuts

     

Omega-6 Sources

 
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    Greens

     
     
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    Gut-friendly Grains

     
     
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    Cold-pressed Oils

     
     
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    Hemp Seeds

     
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    Sesame Seeds

     
     
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    Pistachio Seeds

     
     
  • pumpkin seeds

    Pumpkin Seeds

     
     
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    Chia Seeds

Finding truly humane meat is tricky. Be super aware of the way the animals are treated on the farm you choose, if you choose to eat meat, eggs, and dairy.

But you can also ease into another happy switch today, right now! I am an advocate of the plant-based diet. BUT… I can still help you eat more ethically, even if you are not going vegan anytime soon.

If you choose to eat meat and dairy, please make highly informed decisions and purchases. Find local farmers that you trust- ones that you can talk to face to face, and that allow you to tour their property and animal areas. Get your meat exclusively from them. This will take you several steps in the right direction.

It’s usually less expensive to buy meat from a local farmer anyways- you just have to buy in bulk.

Did you know that cows can sense and understand what is happening to them when they smell a slaughterhouse up the road?

Most animal meat available in stores has been terribly mistreated, tortured and abused for it’s whole life. How can you expect to increase your happiness when you are literally eating animal torture? You Can’t. “Food, Inc” is a great movie to watch to get a bigger understanding of this. You will be directly supporting this industry of torture and neglect if you buy commercial meats.

According to the documentary “Cowspiracy“, 70 billion land animals are killed every year so that people can eat them. That’s over 6 million animals dying per hour for human consumption, or 100,000 animal deaths PER MINUTE! And trillions of fish and other marine life.

Besides this, we are using way too much of our land and water resources to grow the grains that feed these animals. This land could be used to grow more sustainable food, that would actually feed a lot more people, with a lower carbon footprint.

These pigs are EXTREMELY lucky to have all of this room, by factory farming industry standards!

70% of grains grown in the US are grown to feed animals on feedlots, according to “Plants, Genes, and Agriculture” by Jones and Bartlet. That’s a lot of land and a lot of grains! Cow’s stomachs aren’t even made to digest corn, which is the main grain used to feed cows.

Often, cows have to have special treatments and painful, traumatizing ongoing procedures done to them to even keep them healthy while eating corn and other grain. They are also pumped full of antibiotic because of this. Also check out the movie called “Food, Inc.” to get up to date on what really happens on factory farms and feedlots.

Lower your meat intake until you are only eating meat for 1-3 meals per week. You WILL be healthier and happier.

**** Only support farms that pasture their animals for their whole lives! Buy meat from a humane, local source you trust, ONLY! Choose a farm where you can talk to the farmers about the processes directly,  face to face. And one that allows you to tour their farms. THANKS! ****

Fish- as local as possible, not farm raised. Find someone who likes to fish, and

The fishing industry is out of control- nothing like it used to be.


barter or trade, em for some fish! The commercial fishing industry is devastating for marine life, and endangers certain species. Besides this, our waters are grossly over-fished, which bring about even more ecological imbalances.

Wild game in small amounts- Also consider switching to wild caught game, specifically deer, that was not raised on a farm. Why deer? There actually are substantial over-populations of deer in many areas of the United States, so this is a highly sustainable meat source. And while killing deer is sad, helping maintain ecological balance is good. like everything else, we MUST learn to keep our consumption in check!

If you know someone who hunts for food not for trophy, ask them what they know about this or if they might be willing to do a trade with you for some of the game they get. Do either of these things only if it’s legal where you live.

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