Perhaps one of the most well-known of these foods is dark chocolate. A systematic review found that dark chocolate can positively affect a person’s mood. There are three different components in chocolate that appear to be associated with feelings of happiness. Tryptophan, theobromine and phenylethylamine. Tryptophan is the amino acid the brain uses to produce serotonin. Theobromine is a weak stimulant that can improve your mood. Phenylethylethylamine is another amino acid used by the body to produce dopamine, which acts as an anti-depressant.
If there is a food that can be said to be a “good mood food”, we can say that bananas are this food. Although bananas contain serotonin, they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. You can think of the brain-blood barrier as a filter used to determine which substances can or cannot enter the blood. However, bananas have a more indirect effect on determining your mood. Your body needs vitamin B6 to produce serotonin and bananas contain plenty of this vitamin.
Coconut can also make you feel in a tropical environment. In addition, medium-chain triglycerides, which are abundant in it, can help increase your energy. A 2017 study showed that MCTs in coconut milk can help reduce anxiety. However, more research is needed for the link between anxiety and coconut in humans.
A study in 2020 showed that healthy fats found in avocados can help reduce anxiety. In addition, substances such as choline are used by our body to regulate the nervous system and mood. The fact that avocados are rich in vitamin B is also said to be associated with low stress levels.
Many studies show that people who consume fruit and vegetables have better mental health. Especially forest fruits (strawberries, blackberries, etc.) are rich in antioxidants and can reduce the symptoms of depression.
Kefir and yoghurt
Foods such as kefir and yoghurt that go through the fermentation process can also improve your mood by providing a healthy intestinal environment. Probiotics created by the fermentation process ensure that the intestinal bacteria are healthy. The reason why this is important is that ninety per cent of the serotonin in our body is produced in our intestines.