Your mood can certainly affect your food choices—anyone who has ever devoured a pint of ice cream in response to a stressful or otherwise emotional situation can vouch for that! But can a meal or snack, in turn, affect your mood and actually lift your spirits? Research says, “Yes, it can!”

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How It Works

Substances found naturally in foods change the way your brain releases chemicals that act either as stimulants that help improve your mood or depressants that can contribute to a bad mood. Taste also plays a role; eating foods you enjoy can put you in a good mood, while having to eat foods you don’t like can certainly spoil your mood.

Food scientists have found that bioactive substances, like specific proteins, carbs and vitamins, and certain properties in some foods, including temperature, aroma, and texture, can help relieve stress and enhance your mood. Of course, overeating some of these foods can have the opposite effect. (Photo:123rf)

Updated: Feb 24, 2020
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