Food and Mood Connection: Improve Mental Health Through Diet

Food and Mood Connection: Improve Mental Health Through Diet

You are what you eat. Everything you consume breaks down into nutrients that create the cells, organs, and hormones that make us who we are. Therefore, a long-term diet of unhealthy foods will make you look and feel unhealthy. Here are some healthy foods to lower the risk of depression and anxiety.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean Diet. This healthy diet is noted for human longevity. That's because the foundation of the Mediterranean Diet is built upon high fat intake.

Olive oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help offset oxidative damage caused by Western Diets rich in saturated fats found in red meat and processed foods.

Increase your olive benefits with Tranquility Labs' Olive Leaf Extract. This all-natural supplement contains 20% oleuropein, a potent compound unique to olives. Oleuropein has strong anti-inflammatory benefits that play a role in maintaining healthy communication throughout the brain.

Wild-Caught Fish

Fish is a lean protein that provides an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. However, fish is also rich in B-Vitamins.

B-Vitamins are catalysts for many cellular processes involving the brain, including:

  • Thiamin (vitamin B1) - Catalysts for Brain Cell Metabolism
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) - Influences Blood Sugar for Cell Metabolism
  • Niacin (vitamin B3) - Antioxidant that Supports Brain Cells From Damage
  • Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5) - Regulates Adrenal Functions, Influencing Mood and Sex Drive
  • Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) - Essential for Serotonin, GABA, and Dopamine Production
  • Biotin (vitamin B7) - Enzyme for Brain Functions Involving Memory and Performance
  • Folate (vitamin B9) - Creates DNA That Influences Central Nervous System
  • Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) - Controls Levels of Homocysteine to Prevent Brain Cell Damage

It is essential to get fish wild-caught when possible. Factory farmed fish may have antibiotics and other chemicals, including artificial dyes.

Improve your overall omega-3 intake and support healthy brain function with Tranquility Labs' CogniDHA Fish Oil. This all-natural supplement is fortified with high levels of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). DHA is an essential protein in generating brain matter.


Berries are the ultimate fruits and vegetables for brain health. They are loaded with antioxidants that prevent free radicals from destroying healthy brain tissue.

One particular group of antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, have powerful brain health benefits. Studies suggest that anthocyanins support the health of cells that promote dopamine production.

Dopamine is our bodies' reward center. It affects your mood positively, making tasks that might trigger anxiety or depression seem less stressful.

Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables along with berries. Each color denotes a unique set of antioxidants that help protect the brain.


Nothing exemplifies how diet can affect mood and behavior more than probiotic foods. Our gut and brain are in constant communication through a series of nerves known collectively as the vagus nerve.

Unhealthy gut bacteria thrive on a diet of refined sugars, drive-thru takeout, and processed foods. With time, these foods can starve out probiotic bacteria, leaving the gut prone to pathogens.

These pathogens can destroy healthy cells and deprive our bodies of nutrients from foods. In turn, we can experience changes in our mental and physical health.

Yogurt is rich in healthy bacteria, namely Lactobacillus. A meta-analysis of probiotics and mental health finds that various strains of Lactobacilli can improve cognitive function, depression, and anxiety.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which helps eliminate toxins from the body. This reaction can be extremely beneficial for curbing inflammation and promoting weight loss.

There is a strong connection between obesity and mental health issues. These findings further cement the importance of healthy eating and mood.

Additionally, whole grains are rich in complex carbohydrates. These slow-burning carbs feed healthy bacteria in our guts. Eating a variety of whole grains can diversify your microbiome and boost your mood!


Fungi are fun guys to throw in your meals. Mushrooms are a natural source of vitamin D. Our most abundant source of vitamin D is the sun. Since many of us spend so much time indoors, up to 65% of people have low vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is a critical vitamin that is essential for many functions, including converting tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin is our joy molecule. It's also crucial for regulating our sleep-wake cycle. So, eat up mushrooms to improve your mood and sleep habits!


Turmeric is a root native to Asia that has been used in Eastern Medicine for centuries. It's commonly ground into a powder and used to season curries or to make golden milk lattes.

This powerful root gets its benefits much in thanks to a compound known as curcumin. Studies on curcumin show that this molecule helps improve blood flow throughout the body.

Adequate blood flow ensures there is no physiological stress occurring in the body. In turn, you are less likely to experience mental stress.

Studies also suggest that curcumin boosts levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the body. BDNF is a gene responsible for regenerating neurons, which are the chemicals responsible for brain communication.

While curcumin is beneficial to the human body, it's challenging for our bodies to absorb it. However, black pepper can boost curcumin bioavailability up to 2,000%!

Don't have turmeric readily available in your area or are not sure how to cook with it? Experience the food and mental health benefits of turmeric in supplement form.

Try Tranquility Labs' Turmeric Curcumin 1000. This all-natural supplement is fortified with BioPerine, a highly potent black pepper molecule that improves overall curcumin absorption. Its anti-inflammatory benefits will support a healthy mind and body!

Is Food and Mood Connection the Future of Medicine?

There is a lot of merit in nutritional psychiatry. However, you shouldn't make changes to your mental health routine without consulting a physician. Please continue your treatments while you make these dietary changes.

Start your days off right with berries and yogurt. Sustain your energy at lunch with whole grains and brain-boosting foods like mushrooms. Finish off dinner with healthy fats in wild-caught fish prepped in olive oil. 

Amp up the benefits with some turmeric and black pepper. Then, you will hack the food and mood connection!

Essential Takeaways:

  • The brain and gut are in constant communication 
  • Eating probiotics and prebiotics can improve your mental and physical health
  • Omega-3 fatty acids help offset damage caused by too many omega-6s

    BONUS RECIPE: Turmeric Fried Eggs with Kale, Yogurt, and Bacon


    • 4 slices bacon
    • 1 bunch curly kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into large pieces
    • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • Urfa pepper or other mild red pepper flakes and lime wedges (for serving)

    - Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°. Bake bacon on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet until brown and crisp, 12–15 minutes. Tear into large pieces; reserve fat for another use.

    - Meanwhile, spread out kale on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil. Massage leaves with oil and season with salt. Bake, tossing halfway through, until lightly browned around edges and crisp-tender, 5–7 minutes.

    - Season yogurt with salt. Divide among plates and top with bacon and kale.

    - Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add eggs one at a time, shaking skillet between additions to keep them from sticking together. Cook, tilting skillet toward you and spooning oil over egg whites until whites are set, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, keeping skillet tilted, and add turmeric to oil. Baste egg whites with turmeric oil.

    - Divide eggs among plates and drizzle turmeric oil over. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and squeeze limes over.