Mood Makeovers: Top Tips To Get You in A Better Mood


Stress can come from anywhere at anytime. It can stem from career anxiety, family tension or even the day-to-day pressure of trying to balance everything simultaneously. While stress is actually a natural reaction for everyone, when it persists, it can feel overwhelming and take a toll on our well being.

All too commonly, these times are when we are least thoughtful about what we put into our bodies. A recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that in times of stress, one in four Americans turn to unhealthy comfort foods, which are usually high in fat and sugar.

According to leading nutrition expert, Rachel Agnew, R.D., “We tend to go for quick food fixes that make us feel good initially but ultimately may cause a crash or low feeling and expand waistlines in the long-term. Oftentimes our moods are trying to tell us important nutrients we are lacking and it’s to our benefit to pay attention.” Agnew shares her simple nutrition tips for mood makeovers that can help give a natural boost.

Ditch Downer Diets: The latest diets like the Master Cleanse or Atkins can cause low mood and energy because the body is deprived of essential nutrients like vitamin B. A balanced diet with plenty of fresh, colorful fruits and green leafy vegetables is key.

Crave Good Carbs: With the popularity of low-carb diets, many people have eliminated or lowered the level of carbs in their diet. But not all carbs are bad. Complex carbs such as squash, potatoes, beans and whole grain breads can help increase serotonin activity when eaten with protein foods such a milk or turkey that contain tryptophan. By combining these two types of foods, many believe they work together to increase blood and brain serotonin. Serotonin activity in the brain can help support feelings of relaxation.

Super Supplement: One dietary supplement receiving a lot of attention is SAM-e or S-adenosylmethionine, a naturally occurring compound produced by the body. Experts believe that low levels of SAM-e can cause low mood. Over 100 clinical studies have shown that supplementing with SAM-e is effective at enhancing emotional well-being. Agnew recommends Nature Made’s SAM-e product because it is the same SAM-e used in most of these studies.

B Good To Yourself: B vitamins (folic acid, B6 and B12) are important for many processes in the body, especially when it comes to brain and nervous system functions. Lack of these nutrients can negatively affect the mood. Good sources of B vitamins are lean meats, whole grains and leafy vegetables.

O-Mega Good: Salmon, tuna and flaxseed are some of the more bountiful sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve mood and brain function.

Agnew recommends consulting a registered dietitian or doctor to create a customized mood-boosting regimen.

Ask Agnew specific nutrition questions at Ask An Expert at