12 Mood Boosting Foods to Try on a Budget

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Happiness is only a few forks and spoons away. Diet can affect moods, and specific foods can be used to improve how you feel. However, splurging on expensive saffron isn’t necessary. These mood boosting foods are easy to add to a budget-conscious grocery list.

The food you consume affects body and brain chemistry, so it’s important to choose the right ingredients while shopping.

Put these mood boosting foods in your shopping cart and enjoy…

1. Turmeric

First on our mood boosting foods list is turmeric, an inexpensive spice available in grocery stores. It influences the brain by increasing neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of happiness.

2. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain lycopene which is linked to the reduction of inflammatory compounds. These compounds affect the mood and lead to depression, so eating tomatoes is one way to stay happy.

Cherry tomatoes are recommended over regular tomatoes because they have more lycopene. However, all tomatoes have this important nutrient.

3. Beets

These definitely belong on the mood boosting grocery list because of their betaine. It’s a special compound capable of making antidepressant molecules in the brain and protecting cells from stress.

Beets also have betalains that are responsible for reducing inflammation in the body. Studies show that inflammation contributes to depression.

Beets improve your mood by slowly releasing sugar as they’re digested.

4. Celery

Celery is a popular diet food, but it’s also a great mood enhancer. It contains 3-n-butylphthalide, the chemical responsible for reducing stress hormones, in large quantities.

5. Asparagus

Asparagus’ tryptophan levels make it a vegetarian alternative to turkey. Tryptophan contributes to the creation of positive neurotransmitters in the brain.

Asparagus’ folate levels also play a role in boosting your mood. Folate is also needed to make positive neurotransmitters.

The study, “Is low folate a risk factor for depression? A meta-analysis and exploration of heterogeneity,” showed that people with low amounts of folate in their body are more likely to suffer from depression.

6. Swiss Chard

Do you want to increase your energy while lifting your mood? Swiss chard helps both of these areas with its magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral linked to a happier state of mind.

7. Lentils

Lentils are a common budget grocery staple, and they can improve your mood. They are a good source of folate, which helps the brain avoid depression.

They also contain L-tyrosine, an important amino acid used by the brain to make happy neurotransmitters. Lentils are a healthy, simple, and inexpensive way to stay positive.

8. Oatmeal.

Steel cut or flavored, oatmeal is another way to boost your mood.

Oatmeal has high levels of magnesium necessary to stay positive. It also has fiber that reduces blood sugar spikes and prevents mood swings.

9. Honey

Honey can calm your nerves and decrease anxiety. Multiple nutrients are responsible for this effect.

10. Eggs

Eggs have the same tryptophan found in turkeys, so they’re an essential part of creating good neurotransmitters in the brain.

11. Vitamin D fortified cereal.

Name brands aren’t necessary to get a vitamin D boost from your cereal. A budget-conscious grocery list can include less expensive generic versions as long as they’re fortified with the vitamin.

Vitamin D is essential for the creation of serotonin. This neurotransmitter makes you feel happy and calm, so it’s important to get enough vitamin D to make it naturally.

12. Dark chocolate.

Bulk and generic versions of dark chocolate are less expensive, so they can fit a budget grocery list.

Dark chocolate lowers the amount of stress hormones in the body. Additionally, its cocoa flavanols make you feel calmer. A study from the Swinburne University of Technology found that eating dark chocolate was linked to better moods.

So you can see, the right diet can boost your mood naturally. Plus, you can purchase plenty of mood boosting foods on a budget.