Mood & Food
Nutrition Blog

Mood & Food

Can food affect your mood? The jury is still out regarding if food can be used to help treat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. But there is growing research suggesting diet can bring about chemical and physiological changes in our brain structure, which can play a role in altered behavior. So why not try to incorporate some healthy habits?

A Few Simple Strategies:

  1. Don’t quit carbs, choose smarter ones. Examples include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and legumes.
  2. Exercise. And if overweight, SLOWLY try to lose 5-10% body weight
  3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Always include protein and carb. Try to include fiber and good fats.
  4. Get more Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Good sources are nuts, seeds, and fish.
  5. Consider Mediterranean Diet lifestyle change more info here
  6. Get enough Vitamin D. Increases levels of serotonin, which may boost happy mood. Vitamin D comes from sunlight exposure, but also comes from food sources such as fatty fish like salmon, fortified cereal, eggs, fortified milk, caviar, mushrooms, and beef liver.
  7. Select selenium-rich foods. There is some research that selenium supplementation may help depression, dosage not clear. But until further research exists, it can’t hurt to make sure your diet includes foods that are rich in selenium, such as seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish and freshwater fish), nuts and seeds (particularly Brazil nuts), lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey), whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.), beans/legumes, and low-fat dairy products
  8. Don’t overdo the caffeine. Stimulants, such as caffeine, can enhance anxiety and depression symptoms.
  9. Don’t overdo the alcohol. Depressants, such as alcohol, can enhance symptoms of depression.

Salmon-Avocado Poke Bowls

Recipe Courtesy of


  • 8 ounces super-fresh, wild-caught skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sambal olek
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 cups warm, cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Toasted sesame seeds or furikake (Japanese seasoning blend)


  • In a medium bowl, toss salmon with soy sauce, sambal olek, sesame oil, ginger and salt.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Divide rice between 4 bowls and top each with a quarter of the salmon and a quarter of the avocado.
  • Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds and serve