13 Delicious Foods That Boost Your Mood Instantly

You probably know that eating a variety of nutritious and healthy foods is good for your health for a variety of reasons, but did you also know that some of these foods can help boost your mood?

According to the Mayo Clinic, diets rich in high-quality foods are correlated with feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Nutrition psychiatry is a new and emerging field, but research is showing a link between diet and mood disorders, which is just another reason to incorporate more of these foods into your diet.

No surprises here, the foods that contain serotonin and dopamine are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy, and olive oil. Add these foods to your meals with these recipes and you might just be able to boost your mood naturally and deliciously.

Healthy Greek Yogurt Parfait

Image Credit: My Everyday Table.

If you are looking for a quick five-minute breakfast or snack, this healthy Greek yogurt parfait is for you. You only need four ingredients: fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, honey, and some crunchy granola.

This delicious breakfast is a great way to enjoy low-fat dairy, fruit, nuts, and whole grains, which includes several items off the mood-boosting food list.

Get the recipe: Greek Yogurt Parfait

Strawberry Oat Smoothie Bowl

Image Credit: Delish Knowledge.

This strawberry oat smoothie bowl is creamy, filling, and delicious. Adding oats to your smoothie gives it a creamy texture, and adds some whole grains to your smoothie — a component not usually found in this popular drink.

The recipe calls for oat milk, but you could also substitute low-fat milk for an extra protein boost.

Get the recipe: Strawberry Oat Smoothie Bowl

Matcha Strawberry Overnight Oats

Image Credit: Very Veganish.

These boosted oats will not only add fruit, dairy, and whole grains to your morning meal, but the matcha will also give you a caffeine boost. The bright colors in this dish might help boost your mood, but so will the ingredients.

Prep these the night before and add some chopped nuts for a nutritious and crunchy topping.

Get the recipe: Matcha Strawberry Overnight Oats

Acai Bowl

Image Credit: My Everyday Table

These flavorful acai bowls are full of superfoods to help you start your day off right. The fruit, grains, and nut butter all work together to boost your dopamine and serotonin levels right from the moment you wake up.

Feel free to make this your own and switch up the add-ins and toppings to make it more filling and satisfying for your pallet.

Get the recipe: Acai Bowl

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bowl

Image Credit: Delish Knowledge.

Peanut butter and jelly is not just for sandwiches — it’s also for this amazing peanut butter and jelly granola bowl made with several good-mood foods like nuts, low-fat dairy, fruit, and whole grains.

While it’s perfect for breakfast, it also makes a delicious and healthy snack or dessert for after your meals.

Get the recipe: Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bowl

Black Bean Hummus

Image Credit: My Everyday Table.

This twist on traditional hummus may taste a little different, but it is still a protein and fiber-packed dip that’s made with beans, tahini, and olive oil.

Pair the hummus with a variety of raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumber, and mini bell peppers, to cross a few more foods off the list.

Get the recipe: Black Bean Hummus

Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Image Credit: Delish Knowledge.

This avocado chickpea salad sandwich is a delicious vegan alternative to your traditional chicken salad sandwich. Ready in just minutes, it’s the perfect protein-packed lunch or snack.

Smashed chickpeas are combined with avocado, red onions, a dash of olive oil, and a little lemon juice. Serve on a toasted bagel or with a variety of whole-grain crackers and veggies for a delicious lunch.

Get the recipe: Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Southwest Salad

Image Credit: My Everyday Table.

If you are looking for a fresh, flavorful, and colorful rainbow on your plate that is sure to boost your mood, this Southwest salad should be on your list.

This dish has lean protein, dairy, legumes, and plenty of produce which hits almost every good-mood food! Prep ahead for easy assembly if desired.

Get the recipe: Southwest Salad

Chickpea Curry with Coconut Rice

Image Credit: Delish Knowledge.

If you are looking for a comforting meal that’s sure to boost your mood, this easy chickpea curry is worth a try. Creamy, flavorful, and simple, this curry recipe is a great option when you don’t have a ton of time or want a meal you can prep ahead as it keeps and reheats well — which just might also help your mood!

Swap out the white rice for brown and add some veggies on the side to add a few more mood-boosting foods to the meal.

Get the recipe: Chickpea Curry

Easy Shrimp Quesadillas

Image Credit: My Everyday Table.

Lightly spiced shrimp is cooked quickly and tucked into a flour tortilla with plenty of cheese for a deliciously cheesy quesadilla. This meal is quick and easy but doesn’t lack any flavor.

Add plenty of fresh toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, and avocado for an extra mood boost.

Get the recipe: Shrimp Quesadillas

Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl

Image Credit: Delish Knowledge.

Tofu is a great plant-based lean protein to add to your diet; you just need to know how to prepare it so it’s delicious and flavorful. The tofu is crisp and marinated in a delicious peanut butter sauce that will have you coming back for more.

Serve this tasty tofu with rice or your favorite whole grain, roasted broccoli, shredded carrots, spinach, and chickpeas.

Get the recipe: Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl

Salmon Caesar Salad

Image Credit: My Everyday Table.

If you love Caesar salad, you need to try it with salmon! Salmon is a nutritious fish, high in protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Lettuce and salmon are drizzled with homemade Caesar dressing, and they just need a sprinkle of Parmesan and some crunchy croutons. Try making whole-grain croutons to add another good-mood food to the dish.

Get the recipe: Salmon Caesar Salad

Pasta Primavera with Asparagus and Peas

Image Credit: Very Veganish.

This light, fresh, and flavorful pasta primavera is loaded with veggies and nourishing flavor. While many pastas are heavy and rich, this is a bright alternative that you’re sure to love.

Use whole wheat or brown rice pasta to add another good-mood food from the list.

Get the recipe: Pasta Primavera

Author: Emily Dingmann

Emily Dingmann is the writer, recipe developer, content creator, and founder behind myeverydaytable.com. She creates easy recipes for busy families using her degree in Nutrition and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor backgrounds. Her work has been featured on the Today Show, MSN, Self Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Twin Cities Live, and more.

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