How Food Affects Your Mood

18 August 2020



Wondering why at times you get so grumpy? Believe it or not; it could be your diet. Scientific evidence suggests that the foods we consume can affect our mood. This is alongside adopting healthy sleep habits, regular exercise and surrounding yourself with positive minded people. According to Dr Selhub in a Harvard Health article, “Just like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress”

Some foods are known to have a calming effect such as a warm cup of chamomile tea, others like avocado and eggs are said to be erotic enhancers, while chocolate is a well-known feel good mood booster. It increases pleasant feelings and reduces tension. Hold on! This is not an excuse to stuff yourself with two large slabs. Everything in moderation. Remember that too much of a good thing could be bad for you.

Let’s take a look at other foods that have been proven to make us feel great after consumption.



Beetroots contain a chemical called Betain which boosts serotonin (feel good hormones) in the brain. This in turn elevates your mood. They also contain folic acid which is said to balance emotional and mental health. Folic acid is also required for women trying to conceive and those that are already carrying. So eating beets while pregnant helps the baby during early development of the brain and spine. Nitric oxide found in beetroot is also known to assist men with erectile dysfunction by opening up blood vessels…need I say more? There’s a mood booster right there. Go on! Just beet it!


Red Wine

So glad this made it to the list! Red Wine is not only good for your heart but it also reduces your risk of depression. Are you underage or a non-drinker? Resveratrol, the chemical which makes red wine so awesome is also found in dark chocolate and mulberries. I always sensed that there was something special about “mahabros” *sigh.



According to a 2016 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, whole-grain bread can reduce your risks of dying from cardiovascular disease, or cancer.  You’ll get the most benefits from consuming at least three servings of whole grains a day, but just one daily serving alone still has the power to reduce your risk of chronic diseases. It’s also known to increase serotonin so if you’re feeling down try this whole wheat avocado sandwich.




The age old Zimbabwean tradition of fermenting milk into sour milk is now a trend world over. Western countries have come up with their own version called kefir. The benefits are endless. Fermented foods in general improve digestive function, elevate mood, improve liver function, circulatory function and sleep quality. It also decreases wrinkles and strengthens bones. Gogo was right all along.



This super fruit is readily available at any market across the country and at times we might take that for granted. However, potassium, which is abundantly found in bananas is known to reduce symptoms of depression and stress. Bananas are also at times given as a first solid food for babies as they offer both children and adults alike with key nutrients. These include Vitamin B6 which regulates blood glucose levels and iron which stimulates production of haemoglobin in the blood.  

Just with these 5 foods you can see how what we consume affects how we feel and our overall mood. Next time when you’re out grocery shopping be conscious of food and its effects on your mind and make the right choices.

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