Mood Boosting Foods

High-quality fats, such as those found in fish, nuts and flax seed, hold many health benefits and support many functions of the body; from reducing inflammation to reducing the risk for heart disease and diabetes to supporting function of the brain and nervous system.

These healthy fats are also known to protect against mood swings and depression.  Here is a list of some of the top mood-boosting foods and how you can incorporate them into your diet:

Fish – coldwater fish especially is the richest source of omega-3 fats to help improve mood. Think wild salmon, sardines and tuna. See a recipe for a healthy salmon salad below; great to pack for lunch.

Flax – the oil in flaxseed is the richest plant source of omega-3 fats, and the seeds are a great source of fiber. Add toasted flax seeds to salads, soups and sandwiches, and ground seeds are great in smoothies. Flaxseed oil can also be found and used for salad dressings or in smoothies.

Olive oil – although not a source of omega-3 fats, olive oil contains other healthy fats beneficial to stabilizing blood sugar and mood swings. Extra-virgin olive oil is a good substitute for butter on bread and vegetables and makes a great salad dressing.

Healthified Salmon Salad
2-cans canned salmon, drained or packaged salmon
1 cup Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well if using canned
1 Tbsp. Capers
1 cup Artichoke hearts, roughly chopped or quartered (can buy jarred or frozen)
¼ cup Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
Season with fresh ground black pepper and Kosher salt

In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.

This recipe doesn’t have to follow exact measurements. You can eyeball the ingredients according to your likes and dislikes. I like to scoop the salmon salad into a hollowed out tomato or on top of a bed of mixed greens.

This recipe is a healthier and delicious alternative to a mayonnaise-based salad. Benefits this recipe provides include: healthy fat from the olive oil; Omega-3 fat and protein from the salmon; fiber from the beans; and the vinegar and oil helps curb spikes in blood-sugar levels.