Eating Healthy for Your Brain & Body: Guidelines for Enhancing Mood

Your mood and physical energy is intimately connected to the foods and fluids you choose to consume. Place a high priority on what you eat and the benefits both mentally and physically will be apparent. One way to identify foods that enhance your mood and energy level is to keep a food diary. After meals and snacks for one week, look for patterns in your energy levels and identify food choices that are contributing positively to your energy level and mood. Ultimately, you want to eliminate foods and fluids that are draining your zest for life. Below you will find suggestions for fueling your body and brain for enhancing your mood and mojo.

  1. Eat a diet rich in nutrients that meets your nutritional needs
  2. Fill your plate with color from antioxidants and foods high in Vitamins A, C and E
  3. Eat whole grains, starchy vegetables and legumes
  4. Eat foods high in protein to wake your brain up and enhance your ability to concentrate
  5. Eat a diet high in Folate and B12
    1. Meats/protein sources i.e., liver, egg yolk, legumes, almonds/nuts, soy products
    2. Vegetables i.e., asparagus, beets, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, spinach
    3. Fruits i.e., banana, oranges and peaches
  6. Get plenty of Vitamin D in your day from fortified dairy, soy and cereal products as instructed by your physician
  7. Eat foods rich in Selenium
    1. Beans and legumes
    2. Lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey)
    3. Low-fat dairy products
    4. Nuts and seeds (particularly brazil nuts)
    5. Seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish, and freshwater fish)
    6. Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.)
  8. Eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids
    1. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids: fatty fish (anchovy, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shad, and tuna), flaxseed, and nuts.
    2. Sources alpha-linolenic acid (another type of omega-3 fatty acid): flaxseed, canola oil, soybean oil, walnuts, and dark green leafy vegetables
  9. Be active and maintain a lifestyle routine
  10. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight