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Boost your mood with food

Posted January 14, 2020 6:23 p.m. EST

— Want to be in a better mood? Check what you eat.

A growing number of studies suggest food choices may affect our emotions. Kim-Adele Rosner noticed changes after moving toward a Mediterranean Diet.

"I am in a much better mood," Rosner said. "I’m able to focus more. I have a lot more energy.”

The Mediterranean Diet includes olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, and whole grains with lots of foliate and vitamin B12. It's associated with a reduced risk of depression. Research shows the more vegetables you eat, the better your mood.

"Spinach, Swiss chard and fresh herbs like basil are among the veggies that have the biggest mood boost effect,” said Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports Health Editor.

Why food choices may affect mood isn’t totally clear, but some scientists have a gut feeling it may be related to your microbiome, that's the ever-changing mix of good and bad bacteria in your G-I tract.

“The healthy bacteria in your digestive system actually produces neurotransmitters which are chemicals that help control your mood," Calvo said. "In fact, about 90% of serotonin, which you normally think of as a brain chemical, is actually produced in your digestive system.”

Yogurt is great because it contains probiotics, the good bacteria. Make sure you eat food that feeds good bacteria; such as garlic, leeks, onions and asparagus.

And don't forget the fiber. Obviously, skip foods that have lots of added sugar and additives.

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