Foods That Make You Feel Happy and Calm

By Lisa Golebieski

Ever feel tired, grumpy, sluggish, depressed or anxious even though you may not have an apparent reason to feel that way?  Sometimes your diet can contribute towards how you feel.  What you eat everyday plays a role on how the chemicals in your brain function.  Believe it or not, but cravings for sugar, salt, fried/processed foods actually have a negative impact AFTER we eat them.  We may crave certain “junk foods” for immediate satisfaction and once we eat them we feel worse than before we consumed it.

During my journey into Holistic Nutrition, I’ve discovered there are foods hat actually help you feel happy, satiated and calm.

Here is a list of “discoveries” to try:

1.  Folate-rich Foods

Folic-rich, dark leafy greens (and asparagus). A small amount of 200 micrograms of folate can help you feel happier.

2.   Fish

Rich in Omega-3, the polyunsaturated fatty acids may be mood stabilizers, which can
aid in your mental health. You may get your Omega-3 source from fishes or fish oil supplements including krill oil. You can also get your Omega-3 from flaxseeds,  cauliflower, red kidney beans, and broccoli.

3.   Selenium-rich Foods

This brain mineral helps keep your smiley’s and you can find this in your sea foods,
whole wheat foods, lean meats, oatmeal, brown rice, eggs, tofu, or even your low-fat yogurt variety.

4.   Organic Dark Chocolate

If you can shop for organic dark chocolate (such as Green & Black’s) that’s your best choice for helping your body release endorphins to make you feel happy.

5.   Mixed Nuts

Try one handful a day. Walnuts help replace those stress-depleted B vitamins, brazil nuts give you an excellent amount of zinc, and almonds boost vitamin E, which helps fight cellular damage linked to chronic stress. Buy nuts in the shell and think of it as multitasking: With every squeeze of the nutcracker, you’re releasing a little tension (but please don’t use your teeth to crack open nut shells!)

6.    Blueberries

Blueberries are abundant in antioxidants and vitamin C, which are known stress-busters. Antioxidants help remove toxins (called free radicals) that circulate in our  body. These free radicals damage our organs and cause us to age faster, that’s  why we need to remove them. Blueberries are also loaded with fiber, which is  good for digestion. Some studies show that blueberries and strawberries may prevent cancer by removing these destructive free radicals.

7.   Maca

Root Maca is a powder made from a Peruvian root and can be found in certain supplements and drink mixes. Maca root contains a phytonutrient that can help ward off anxiety and depression, provided that you can find the unprocessed form.  In its  natural state, just one glass of tea containing maca root has more nutrients than a serving of most fruits and vegetables, including the nutrients calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Some studies have found that maca root is just as useful at fighting depression as prescription antidepressants since it contains so many nutrients that are useful for improving mood. Plus since maca root is natural it does not have as many of the risks and side effects that are associated with prescription anxiety medication. Maca root powder can be made into a tea of sprinkled over other foods to give you the maximum health benefits.

When you feel happy, your body will be free from disease… and vice-versa. Without a healthy lifestyle and diet, your body will suffer physical sickness which can lead to emotional stress. If you’re not eating the right food, it can surely impact how you feel. Just steer clear from processed foods and always choose natural, healthy options which make you feel simply lighter and happier. The key to food is moderation and if you have persistent forms of mood swings, anxiety or depression, it is important that you seek professional medical help from your psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.

(Also see Dr. Ferraioli’s post on how to help someone calm down:

Strive to Be Calm and Happy every day for Life!

Lisa Golebieski, MS  Holistic Nutrition Consultant


  • Nutritional Counseling and Coaching
  • Nutrition Seminars
  • Holistic Diet Plans
  • Supermarket Smart Savvy  Tours

Cell: 973-464-7542


5 thoughts on “Foods That Make You Feel Happy and Calm

    • Thanks Michele! Like how you mentioned “Comfort Foods”. They are called “comfort foods” for good reason…we feel “comforted” and “satiated” while consuming them but then depending on what was in the food we may not feel all that great afterwards therefore craving another food to counteract how we feel.

  1. This is great! I’ll be sure and try the Maca root, I have been reading a lot about it. I just read also that prunes have really high antioxidents even more than blueberries. Do you know if that is correct? I love both blueberries and prunes.

    • Thanks for the great feedback Bonnie! As a matter of fact, prunes are a powerful source of antioxidants and fiber. They contain high amounts of phenolics which is responsible for the high antioxidant activity. Some people will not eat prunes though (mainly because of it’s texture) which is why blueberries becomes the next popular choice. We need to go on a prune crusade to get more people to eat them!

  2. I’m a vegetarian and I’ve been eating more and more fruit lately. I’ve noticed that I feel uplifted when I’m eating a meal of fruit. That prompted me to google the question “does fruit make us feel happy?” and I found your article. Thank you for sharing this rich information on happy and calm foods. I will pass this around the office next week. Cheers!

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