Mood Foods – Top Nine Happiest Plant-Based Foods


Moods.  What can we do?  Sometimes you’re up and then for no reason whatsoever, your down.  Can food help?  Most people realise that moods affect what we eat, but does it work the other way.  Do foods effect our moods?

There has been much research into the matter which has shown a link between moods and the food we eat.  A recent survey has shown that a large proportion (over 80%) of people felt better when they changed their diet.  Eating healthier makes us feel better inside and out.

From what we can tell this is down to serotonin, the happy chemical, produced in our brains.  Serotonin cannot be produced without tryptophan (an amino acid), so its a good idea to eat foods high in trypophan to make us happy.  Simple enough!?  Low serotonin levels are blamed for anxiety, cravings, mood disorders and IBS.   The concept of eating foods high in trypophan is similar to that of taking an anti-depressant like prozac.  Holistic anti-depressants.


Smile away!!

Moods cannot be gotten rid of, but can be brought under some kind of control.  The extremity of the ups and downs can be lowered, minimised, meaning we feel more centred and grounded in a good place.  Evidence suggests that eating and living well can be essential in maintaining not just our physical, but also our mental health.  We certainly feel the benefits!

Here are some plant-based foods that can help:

Mung Beans

Top Ten Good Mood

1) Mung beans

2) Asparagus

3) Sunflower seeds

4) Pineapple

5) Tofu

6) Spinach

7) Bananas

8) Nuts

9) oats

Taken from the e-book The Serotonin Secret, Dr Caroline Longmore

Foods high in fibre, whole grains and protein can also help boost moods.  Food with a low glycemic index, like oats for example, will help the brain absorb all of these happy amino acids.  Tryptophan absorption is boosted by carbohydrates.


These foods should be combined with lots of clean water and fresh fruit and vegetables. Eating regularly and not skipping meals also boosts our mental health.  As ever, a balanced diet is always the best way forward, lots of fresh veg and fruit, with wholegrains, plenty of green leafy veg and some sweetness!  Treats are essential!!

Foods that have the opposite effect are sometimes called ‘Stressors’, the main culprits are listed below:

Food ‘Stressors’

  • Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Wheat-containing foods
  • Additives
  • Dairy
  • Saturated Fats


Provided by the food and mood project, backed by the mental health charity Mind.

A diet heavy in the ‘stressors’ can lead to all sorts of problems including anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, panic attacks, lack of concentration and unfortunately, many more…


Roast Carrot & Ginger Hummus – Healthy, happy, get dippin’!

Sugar has a powerful effect on our sense of well being, if we eat too much, we can get into a ‘sugar roller coaster’, which is never nice.  Our blood sugar levels are all over the place and we feel drained and fatigued when the sugar is lessening and high as a kite when its peaking.

If you do over indulge, one of the worst things that you can do is feel guilty about it.  Feel great about it!  You have just treated yourself and you deserve it. Move on and make efforts to eat better and feel better, step-by-step, slowly slowly.  It’s a long road without any fixed destination.

Apparently we all have ‘triggers’, foods that can take us up and down.  This depends on you, have a little experiment.  If you are feeling a bit sluggish and down, think about what you have eaten that day or the night before.  Trends will inevitably form.

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We found it really helpful to take the plunge and go for a full raw diet.  Our bodies became sensitive to what we ate and we learned alot about what makes us feel good and otherwise.  You don’t have to go this far of course, just cut out certain foods for a period of time and see how you feel.

Eating well is one thing, but thinking well is another level completely.  Think positively, practice thinking only positive thoughts for 5 minutes at a time and build on that.  You will eventually develop a brilliant habit of a positive world outlook.  This is a helpful tool.  Add that to your new found passion for mung beans and you’ll be shining away for all to see!


For more information on mood foods, check out the ‘Mind’ site.  There is information here for Brits on how to contact dietitians and nutritionists to get started on a new diet plan and lifestyle.  You could also check out the website food for the brain.

Take it easy, have a handful of sunflower seeds and shine onX

Categories: Healing foods, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Mood Foods – Top Nine Happiest Plant-Based Foods

  1. simple sustenance

    Good food to enhance our moods! It’s a lot better than medicines. I eat a lot of mung beans. Will be sprouting some soon. The happy jumpers made my day. Thanks for sharing.

    • This is so true. Get over the blues with a bowl of mungs. They taste amazing too. When we eat raw food, it seems body loves it, not just the mind (like when we eat loads of chocolate!). You body is saying ‘thank you’ when you are munching on all those beautiful veggies and fruit and this in turn makes you feel mighty fine. Its a good process to be part of! Lovely to hear from you again, lee

  2. What a great, informative post. I love this holistic approach to moods…goodness knows, we’ve all got ’em.

    • Moody Blues (good band!). Yup, we are in motion, ups and downs. Like a cork on the ocean. Food definitely helps with this sea sickness though. Happy days, lee

  3. Well done for such a informative and valuable post. I love it. I believe that is very important the energy that you put on the food while you are eating it as much as what you eat. Yes there are certain foods that are “triggers”, but to be aware of it is even more powerful than the trigger. It is very important to eat and literally admire every bite of food. Those” admired” cells will nourish you. I do hear people sometimes say about food time things like “just to feel a hole” or ” I just eat a lot of rubbish”, so even if they have eaten something not do bad , they have made it worst by thinking about it in this way. I know this might be too much analyzing , but if are gonna have a sugary treat enjoy it! You posts really inspire me. Thank you ! Sending blessings and love to you both

    • Ivelina, you are an angel. All these words are felt in the Beach House with the greatest understanding. LOVE YOUR FOOD (and the people who eat it), LOVE YOUR BODY (and what lives in it). Shine onX

  4. Thanks for sharing this, I think it is vitally important that people understand the connection between their moods and what they consume, as well as their lifestyle. Also, I have discovered how important exercise is in addition to a healthy diet and positive thinking… the endorphins released from exercise can most definitely turn around a blue mood!
    I used to struggle with depression pretty bad in my mid teens and early twenties (and was labeled “bi polar” at one point by medical professionals). But instead of turning to medications (which to me is just putting a band aid over the real issues), I started eating healthier and exercising, and my moods magically improved. I was finally able to connect the dots between lifestyle/diet and mood after the change. Now my antidepressants are a healthy diet, exercise, meditation, and even certain herbs like damiana and saint john’s wort.

    • Love these herbal remedies, it is truly scary how many young folk are being poisoned by our medical systems. We trust doctors, but their motives could sometimes be questioned (or their education). I read that in the many years it takes to qualify to become a doctor in the UK, they only spend one lesson (!) learning about herbal/ holistic treatments. If that is true, its outrageous. They surely just become drug pushers for the large pharma companies. Jane and I are so lucky that we have our health and would like to keep it that way (with some luck), but if we do get sick, we will be turning to nature first for the remedy/answers. I must admit, if I don’t exercise, after a while I feel a low coming on. This body was not designed to sit still for too long, we are made for motion….Thanks for such a heartfelt comment, it means the world! Peace and love, leex

  5. Hm, looking at these lists, it’s a wonder that I’m so happy! 🙂 I should probably look for more ways to incorporate mung beans into my diet. 🙂

    • Emmy you are a sunbeam, I don’t care how many grande lattes you drink! Mung beans are best consumed sprouted. Its super easy. Best served scooped out of a bowl by hand and lobbed into the mouth. Hoorah for mungers! Shine on EmmyX

  6. good info! Perhaps I could make a smoothie with 9 out of the 10 good mood foods (leave out the cottage cheese, which is dairy! lol). Use soy milk instead of the tofu to make it liquid, and that could be one good tasting smoothie!

  7. Hmmm now I know why I always feel so great after eating a bowl of oatmeal- oats + banana + nuts = awesome!

  8. Pingback: Vegan Chocolate and Almond Ice Cream « the beach house kitchen

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