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What foods will help boost my mood?

These dinner sides don't just make your waistline little. They put a serious smile on your face, too.

We're talking about carrots and eggplant, squash and lima beans, and just about any other vegetable you can get your hands on. Research confirms that people who eat the most vegetables have the brightest moods.

In a study, the people who loaded up their diets with vegetables and skipped meat altogether had happier moods compared with the people who included any form of animal protein (fish, chicken or beef) in their diets. Which was a surprise to the researchers who assumed the brain-friendly fats in fish would be key to emotional well-being. But it turns out that vegetables -- as well as plant-based proteins like nuts -- have a mood booster of their own called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is a plant-based fatty acid that helps keep a lid on an inflammatory compound linked with depression.

Yep, eating lots of vegetables and no meat had lots of emotional upsides in the study -- including less anxiety, less depression and less hostile feelings. But if you're not ready to go vegetarian, don't fear. There are plenty of other ways to get some extra happy into your day, like exercising more, stressing less (deep breathing exercises work wonders) and spending extra time doing the things you love.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

What you eat has a lot of affect on the body, including your mood. In this video, Dr. Oz and nutritionist Kate Geagan discuss the foods to eat to keep you in a good mood.


Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Eating certain foods can be a natural way to put you in a good mood, and without medication. In this video, Dr. Robin Miller reveals her happy foods list.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.