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by Jennifer Hopper |

If you’re all smiles one minute and sneers the next, you might be in need of a little nutritional rejig. Research has found that what you put in your body can directly affect your mood, leading to bouts of the blues and increased feelings of stress. Whether you like it or not, your body needs good nutrition to perform at its peak.

Inversely, nutritional deficiencies can exacerbate existing mood issues and make you feel worse. Of course, clinical depression and mood disorders should be treated with a doctor's care, but there are ways to put mild cases of the crankies to rights with good food. And once your body feels good, you’ll feel great. So, what are the top mood boosting nutrients that can release your inner ray of sunshine and support your smile?

Let’s take a look:

  1. Water

Obvious, right? And yet many Australians fall well below the recommended daily dose of H2O! And while the amount of water you need to drink for maximum hydration is dependent upon your weight, sex and the climate you’re in, modern advice suggests that you should be aiming for 35 milliliters of water per kilo of weight. But why is water so important? Well, as the main ingredient in human beings, water is crucial for our functioning - without it we get sluggish and, you guessed it - moody!

  1. Green tea!

Love this one because it combines our #1 mood booster listed above with a lil’ flavour! Green tea is packed with L-theanine, an amino acid that keeps anxiety at bay. And while it does have a touch of caffeine, it’s really just enough to perk you up rather than send you over the edge.

  1. Oats!

Humble porridge oats are the super star start to a great day. Easy to prepare (and even easier if you soak the oats overnight to cut cooking time!), oats have a low glycemic index meaning they release energy nice and slow into the bloodstream, preventing energy slumps and anger peaks! Oats also contain selenium, a mood boosting mineral that also powers up your metabolism and regulates thyroid function.

  1. Yoghurt with probiotics

More and more research is indicating that gut health is crucial for mental health. When our tummy’s bacteria gets out of balance it can have a very real and lasting effect on our moods and behaviour. Boosting your intake of pre and probiotics is the way to get back on track and yoghurt with live bacteria is a great start. If you don’t like the taste or love a good shortcut, then try a powdered probiotic you can sprinkle on your cereal!

  1. Chocolate

We saved the best for last! Of course we’re not talking about Twix and Mars Bars here, but a few squares of a good quality dark chocolate can be just the thing to turn your frown upside down. Full of antioxidants and able to boost serotonin (the chemical that is linked to mood regulation), there really couldn’t be a better way to get happy!