Diet full of sunshine

If you’re sad and you know it, eat these foods


Photo by Peyton Sims


Story by Mikayla Zverina, staff writer

As you drag yourself out of bed, you realize that this is the third day in a row that you have felt down in the dumps. You force your feet to keep moving as you make your way to the kitchen and begin pondering on what to have for breakfast. By adding a few of the following foods to your daily diet, however, you can go from channeling Squidward to Spongebob energy in a matter of minutes. 

Chicken Nuggets 

To kick things off, this is a food that most people can compre-hen-d. Have you ever been munching on some of Chick-Fil-A’s famous chicken nuggets and your bad day instantly became better? This is because your beloved chicken nuggets contain an amino acid called tryptophan. This boosts the production of serotonin, the happy chemical in your brain, thus improving your mood. Chicken also contains energizing nutrients like B6, potassium and zinc. Along with that, high-protein diets have been linked to improving self-esteem and reducing depression. Never be ashamed of your love for chicken nuggets because you will be reaping the benefits. 


The benefits of this food are far from fishy. Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which improves your mood by reducing inflammation in your body. So the next time you’re at the store, stop by the meat section and pick up some salmon to sea the benefits for yourself. 


This fungus doesn’t leave mushroom for depression. Mushrooms contain large amounts of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D. A lack of this vitamin has been linked to depression and fatigue. Only eating a few of these a day can significantly improve your mood. 


Oranges are very ap-peel-ing because they are loaded with vitamin C. This vitamin causes a decrease in anxiety and depression. Also, a study found a connection between the consumption of citrus and a reduction of sadness. Orange you glad you always drink that orange juice in the morning? 

Dark Chocolate

Here’s some good news for all you chocolate lovers out there. Dark chocolate improves blood flow to your brain, making you feel more energized and helps boost concentration. Cocoa flavanols can boost cognitive performance allowing you to get your work done more efficiently. Keep in mind that the cocoa is what gives you the benefits, so dark chocolate works better than other candy bars.


Is it possible that the famous saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” might be true? I hate to break it to you, but your mom was right. This fruit not only produces a calming effect, but it creates more energy and increases one’s overall happiness. Apples also contain manganese, copper, and vitamins A, E, B1, B2 and B6.


Coffee can help boost your mood a latte because it stimulates the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone that produces a feeling of happiness and euphoria. Perhaps it is true that it’s best to talk to others after they’ve had their daily dose of coffee. 


These magical beans are full of magnesium which stimulates production of the happy hormone in a human’s brain and helps reduce the bloated feeling. As if beans couldn’t get any better, they are rich with antioxidants that contain nutrients like iron, fiber, copper, zinc and potassium. 


Eggs are egg-celent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin B, iodide and proteins that will keep you energized throughout the day. It is also shown that people who eat two eggs for breakfast lose a significant larger amount of weight than those who eat other foods. Be careful, supermarket claims aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be. To get the most out of your eggs, contact a local farmer for fresh, organic eggs.

Whole grain bread 

It’s no secret that when your hormones are out of order, one begins to shovel carbs in like a grandma on Thanksgiving, but stay away from sugary options and go for whole grains. Whole grain bread tends to increase your level of happiness, whether it is emotional or physically, as it improves the number of good bacteria in your gut. These bacteria influence your mood significantly, so when you’re feeling down, get in the kitchen and go make yourself a sandwich. 


It may seem strange because eating the grass of the sea is a little unusual, but seaweed contains iodine which is rarely found in foods. Iodine is an element that helps fight depression, but it is not recommended to down spoonfuls of iodine salt daily for obvious reasons. Your thyroid, which depends heavily on iodine, influences your energy, weight and your brain functions. So when you are feeling a little blue, use sushi as your new happy drug. 

Chamomile tea

Everyone’s circadian rhythm is being thrown off by the lack of sunlight the winter brings around, but one way to bring back the equilibrium is to drink chamomile tea. This tea offers better sleep and enhances your cognitive functions during the day. By getting a larger amount of sleep, your mood improves and makes simple tasks more bearable. 


These underrated berries not only lead to weight loss by decreasing the formation of fat cells by up to 73%, they also carry heavy doses of vitamin C. Low amounts of vitamin C leads to fatigue, depression, low motivation and that down in the dumps feeling we all have witnessed. Blueberries also contain the antioxidant, resveratrol, which researchers have linked to the reduction of depression.


Become a little less crabby with a healthy serving of this food. Crab is packed with omega-3 which reduces painful inflammation and increases happiness. Crab is also high in iron that helps you say bon voyage to that bad mood. 


While people’s obsession with avocados may stem from the aesthetic factor they add to toast, avocados have so much more to offer. The vitamin B9 can be found in folate or folic acid which happens to be found in avocados. Folate contributes to serotonin regulation in your body and a folate deficiency has been linked to depression, so get ready to guac and roll with this amazing food. 


Beets contain betaine, which increases production of serotonin in the brain, boosting happiness levels through the roof. But wait, there’s more! Beets contain folic acid that act as a stabilizer for mental and emotional health. This food can’t be beet. 

Venture out of your culinary comfort zone and try out some of these foods that’ll help kick your bad mood to the curb. A few simple adjustments to your diet can positively impact your attitude, so don’t worry and be happy with these mood boosting foods.