What are brain foods? We’ve all heard the saying: you are what you eat. Well, it turns out that good nutrition not only puts you on track for a six-pack but can also make you happier.

Research shows that when you are deficient in certain nutrients such as Vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium, you are at a higher risk for experiencing a depressed mood. In other words, adding these specific food groups into your regular diet can help you experience a happier, more stress-free life.

How does it work?

Certain vitamins (such as zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium) promote neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to change and adapt. This, in turn, helps the brain be resilient in the face of stress- ultimately decreasing the risk of depression. Other vitamins, like certain vitamin Bs, have anti-inflammatory properties which have also been shown to function as a mild antidepressant.

So, what should I be munching on?

Seafood and leafy vegetables (cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, etc.) typically work the best when it comes to antidepressant efficacy. You should try and reach for mood-boosting “superfoods”- the foods that have several of the beneficial nutrients mentioned. These include leafy greens, peppers, oysters, mussels, oily fish such as salmon, nuts, and eggs.

Still not inspired?

Let’s take a look at some recipes that incorporate these mood-boosting foods. Happy snacking!


The Sunny Side:

– Apple & peanut butter (Omega 3-fatty acids)
– Greek yogurt & mixed berries (Vitamin B, Zinc)
– Mixed nuts (Omega 3-fatty acids)
– Hard-boiled eggs (Omega 3-fatty acids, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Zinc)
– Turkey roll-ups (roll turkey and cheese in a lettuce wrap) (Vitamin D, Magnesium)