The 5 Healthy Foods a Nutritionist Eats When She Needs a Mood Boost

We all know that what we eat has a direct impact on how we feel physically, but some might be surprised to find out just how much our diet influences our emotional well-being, too. We recently spotlighted Uma Naidoo, MD, an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who explains that she always discusses "the important role of diet in helping to manage anxiety" when coming up with a treatment plan because nutritional health is correlated to hormonal and neurological function.

Even with this knowledge, not everyone has the time or the means to stick to a high-maintenance diet. So we reached out to registered dietician nutritionist and travel writer Abigail Kinnear to learn which foods are worth adding to our meal plans and ordering routines, thanks to their mood-enhancing vitamins and minerals. Of course, a positive mood and emotional health are influenced by much more than just food, so keep in mind that a holistic approach is most effective.

That said, science does back up the fact that certain foods improve mood, and if flamingos are cheerfully pink because of the algae they eat, then we're willing to give it a try, too. Except we'll pass on the algae, and lucky for us, Kinnear's breakdown of mood-boosting food isn't all about scarfing down lame vegetables and restricting everything delicious. In fact, chocolate is definitely invited to this happy food party. So if you're looking for simple ways to improve your mood during meal-time, keep reading.