Food Therapy: Foods & Beverages that Boost Your Mood

Do you feel moody? Anxious? Stressed? Tired? Lethargic? Depressed? Well what if food was thy answer! People take it for granted to eat healthy.  As most health professionals say, people “live to eat, rather than eat to live”. Having a piece of cake every now and then won’t harm anyone, but most people abuse their sugar, carbohydrate, and even, alcohol intake. Did you know that in 1980, there were 0 incidences of children with diabetes? As of 2010,  57,638 children diagnosed with diabetes. Sugar has been shown to be more addicting than cocaine, where one study demonstrated that 93% of rats chose sugar over cocaine.  Not that this article will be based on sugar, but it needed to be pointed out that sugar plays a major role on people’s moods.


On that note, here’s a list of foods, beverages and supplements that will help you feel better:


1) The Ancient Asian mushroom, reishi mushroom, better known as Ganoderma lucidum, has antioxidant properties that boost immune system, protect central nervous system and purifies the liver and cardiovascular system. In Chinese Medicine, emotions and organs are linked together.  When the liver is affected, the individual will feel more anxious, nervous, anger or resentment.  Cleansing the liver will help for a better mood.  Ganoderma has also been proven to help prevent depression and boost mood.


2) Maca Root, or “Peruvian Ginseng”, is known for its energizing effect, increasing libido, relieving depression, building muscle, and normalizing hormones. Maca helps protect the adrenal glands as well. With everyone’s busy lifestyles, stress can hit hard. Managing stress levels can help combat fatigue, burnouts, and people will have more focus and feel generally better.


3) Golgi Berries, which are widely used in Chinese therapies, has many beneficial properties.  It aids in digestion, sleeping patterns, strengthens immune system, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and is packed with vitamins and minerals.  Golgi berries have been shown to reduce stress while boosting mood, making the body feel happy and calm.


4) Healthy fats, such as Omega-3, coconuts, avocados, nuts and seeds. As the big hype these days are to cut down on refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta, crackers, etc., healthy fats replace carbs.  Healthy fats are filled with nutrients that improve the heart and brain function, hormonal balance, and nutrients that increase one’s mood. As we don’t get enough of Omega-3 in our diets, supplementing is the best option.  Increasing healthy fats also helps shed unwanted fat. Good fat eats away at bad fat!


5) Ginger tea and honey is not only good for the common cold and boosting the immune system, it helps regulate stress levels as well. Instead of drinking a caffeinated beverage, try a ginger tea and honey.  Caution: you may feel more alert and focused!


6) Vitamin D3 supplement: because we do not get enough sunlight year-round, it is important to boost vitamin D3 levels.  Vitamin D3 not only produces hormones and is good for the bones, but it boosts chemical activity in the brain that increases mood.  D3 has been shown to also decrease and prevent incidences of depression.

Aim for 5000 IU/day.


7) Cocoa, the infamous chocolate addiction! Cocoa is actually very beneficial as it contains antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids, which all help combat stress and inflammation.  Cocoa also contains magnesium, aiding in sleeping patterns.  Better sleep, equals less stress during the day, resulting in a better mood! Just make sure that you consume 85% dark chocolate with no added milk or sugar, or you will lose the nutrient effects.


Everyone wants to feel better, but it is the choices we make that will either harm us or carry us further in life.  Choose wisely, as there are an immense variety of healthy alternatives that can help you stay away from sugar and processed foods and beverages!


For my course about Nutrition for Sport, available in French here:

A translation is possible if you want to register to the english version!

To know more about nutrition for the brain, stay tune for our next online course:


Anthony Borsellino, Ph.D. Naturopathic Doctor

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[1] Fed Up Documentary, (2014), Directed by Stephanie Soechtig

[2] Fed Up Documentary, (2014), Directed by Stephanie Soechtig


[4]Socala, K., et. al., (2015), International journal of medicinal mushrooms, Evaluation of Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant-, and Anxiolytic-like Effects of an Aqueous Extract from Cultured Mycelia of the Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Higher Basidiomycetes) in Mice, 17(3):209-18,

[5] Amagase, H., & Nance, DM., (2008), The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study of the general effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum (Goji) Juice, GoChi, 14(4):403-12,

[6] Penckofer, Sue, et. al., (2010), Issues in Mental Health Nursing, Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine?, 31(6):385-393,