When we’re feeling down and out, we may crave comfort foods to make it all feel better. And while there’s nothing wrong with eating what your body’s asking for, there are some foods that actually help balance out mood swings. And the best part is they’re probably already things you eat. Registered dietitian Haley Hughes says it’s all about maintaining a consistent diet and including these eats.
Fry up an egg - This gives you a crucial vitamin B12 boost, so your nerve cells are nourished and mood swings are balanced, according to registered dietitian Keri Glassman. Eggs are also high in choline, which is important for brain and memory function.
Chow down on avocado - Healthy fats and omega 3 fatty acids are what you’re going for here to keep your mood consistent. And if for some reason you’re not down with the green goodness, fish, flaxseed, and nuts are good sources, too.
Don’t forget your leafy greens - They’re good for us for so many reasons, but Hughes suggests we eat them for a mood-boosting dose of folate, an important vitamin for the body. Research has shown that low folate levels could be linked to depression and getting more of it could “vastly improve your mood.”
Go for the fresh fruit - Grab a handful of berries because Glassman says foods high in vitamin C “have been shown to help reduce stress.”
Sip away on your coffee - You already count on your beloved cup of coffee to help get you going, but your morning mug can also help with mood swings. Hughes says “caffeine can increase dopamine,” which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that affects your responses to pleasure and reward. And a decade-long study finds that “depression risk decreases” with drinking more caffeinated coffee. Just don’t overdo it because too much caffeine can mess with sleep or make anxiety worse. The Mayo Clinic advises keeping it under four cups of coffee per day.