Choosing whole grains and high-fiber foods over refined sugar and flour products is good for your body and brain health. “Keeping your blood sugar stable by not eating too many sweets or highly refined carbohydrates is a good place to start,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RD, CDN, a dietitian in New York City. “Blood sugar-stabilizing foods can affect mood by helping to regulate brain neurotransmitter secretions.” Women should get 25 grams of fiber daily, while men need 38 grams, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The more fruit you eat, the lower your risk of depression, according to a review of research examining the correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption and depression. The results of the data analysis appeared in September 2015 in the journal Nutrition. Fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, making it a great food to indulge in when you want a sweet sensation. Eating a variety of fruits, including berries, is ideal, Jacka says. Aim for 1½ to 2 cups of fruit daily, recommends the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Start with a banana — a healthy sweet treat that’s been linked to improving mood.