Atlantic Salmon - Oily fish like salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. They boost serotonin levels, one of the key neurotransmitters influencing our mood. Salmon is also one of the best food sources of Vitamin D which may also increase the levels of serotonin, and help to relieve mood disorders.
Bananas - Bananas are a good source of tryptophan which serves as a precursor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns, and mood.
Brazil nuts - Brazil nuts are a source of selenium, which assists in stabilising your mood and helps to prevent depression. Just six Brazil nuts give you your recommend daily intake. Protein in nuts lowers the glycemic index (GI), so your blood sugar levels don't spike and plummet, and this prevents the 'sugar slump' and accompanying crabbiness you'd get soon after eating a high GI sugary snack like a biscuit.
Chillies - Chillies also have mood elevating effects. They work by stimulating a specific type of pain receptor on sensory nerve endings. When these nerves are stimulated they signal the brain to release chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins, in turn, stimulate the release of the brain chemical, dopamine which acts as a mood elevator and relieves depression.
Cinnamon - This spice moderates the blood sugar which, in turn, helps you to prevents mood swings. Cinnamon facilitates digestion, which is one of the causes for feeling depressed and lifeless. You can add cinnamon in your porridge, hot cereal or yoghurt.
Dark Chocolate - Those who crave chocolate tend to do so when they feel emotionally low. Chocolate really can make you happy, it just has to be 70% or higher in cocoa for the added health benefits like antioxidants. It helps to stimulate endorphin release in the brain offering a "fleeting feeling of euphoria: fat, sugar, caffeine, phenylethylamine, anandamines, flavonols, theobromine, and tryptophan."
Lentils - A member of the legume family, lentils are an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin that is essential for mood and proper nerve function in the brain. A deficiency may impair the metabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, neurotransmitters important for mood. Lentils also contain protein and fibre, which assist to stabilise blood sugar levels. Whole dry lentils are also an excellent source of phenylalanine which is an essential amino acid necessary to maintain normal brain chemicals (L-dopa, epinephrine, and norepinephrine). A deficiency can cause confusion, low energy, depression, and lack of appetite.
Oats - This whole grain actually calms, soothes and reduces stress. Loaded with fibre, oats help avoid the blood sugar crash and burn that can lead to mood swings. Oatmeal at breakfast may help you begin your day in a calm state.
Saffron - Traditionally, saffron has been used to treat depression in Persian medical systems. Recent trials have shown that this spice is as effective as many current anti-depressant drugs in treating mild to moderate depression.
Spinach - Green leafy vegetables like spinach are high in folate (folic acid) and vitamin B6, two B vitamins that also help convert tryptophan into serotonin.
Turkey - Turkey is high in phenylalanine, an amino acid which the brain converts to dopamine, a brain chemical that elevates mood and prevents depression. Tryptophan food in turkey boosts serotonin levels to balance mood and provide a more positive outlook.
Walnuts - Walnuts have long been thought of as a "brain food" because of their wrinkled, brain-line appearance. They are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, a type of fat needed for brain cells and mood-lifting neurotransmitters to function properly and possible help some people with depression.