Time to read: 4 min

Mood swings from food? Not anymore.

14 June 2022|Nutrition

Do you sometimes have a 'short fuse'? Not feeling quite right? Take a critical look at what you're eating. Healthy food can actually contribute to a better mood. And unhealthy food might lead to a worse mood. In this article, we'll explain how that works.

How does a good or bad mood happen?

Our mood is a bit weird, isn't it? Sometimes you're cheerful and energetic, and other times, you just don't feel like talking to anyone and prefer lying on the couch with the curtains closed. How does that happen?

Your mood is regulated by neurotransmitters and hormones (1). Dopamine, cortisol, and adrenaline are three familiar ones: dopamine is the so-called 'happiness hormone,' while adrenaline and cortisol are stress hormones. When the body produces a lot of dopamine, it leads to a good mood. But the production of stress hormones does the opposite.

Want to boost dopamine production and slow down stress hormones? Getting good sleep, enough exercise, sunlight, doing fun things, minimizing stress, and... eating and drinking healthily can help with that!

Also read: What is the impact of stress on our hormones?

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What unhealthy food does to your mood

Why are people so crazy about unhealthy eating? Doesn't a greasy snack release substances in your brain that make you feel good?

Unhealthy food usually contains added sugars and simple carbohydrates. These might temporarily boost your mood. Afterward, though, it worsens. That's mainly because your blood sugar spikes and then crashes (2). Keeping your blood sugar stable can reduce mood swings.

Indulging in unhealthy food occasionally is fine. But doing it too often can negatively affect your mood. You won't get enough healthy nutrients this way.

Our (food) tips for a good mood!

So, what should you do or eat to feel great? We've broken it down into four points.

  1. Healthy food as a foundation - Eating varied and healthy food has many benefits for your body and well-being. It often helps with weight management, improves sleep, and boosts your immunity - all contributing to a good mood!
  2. Keep your blood sugar stable - Eat enough complex carbohydrates and proteins and get sufficient exercise. This helps stabilize your blood sugar, resulting in fewer energy slumps and mood swings.
  3. Avoid fast food and quick sugars - They might give you a temporary high, but they lack healthy vitamins and nutrients. Plus, they often lead to an energy crash afterward.
  4. On a diet? Don't starve yourself! - Feeling hungry doesn't uplift your mood. Moreover, prolonged insufficient eating can drop your blood sugar levels. So, don't create too large of a calorie deficit.

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Do I need supplements too?

If you eat healthy and varied, you should theoretically get all the nutrients your body needs. Supplements can be handy though if you want to be sure you're getting enough or if you're into convenience.

Supplements aren't a fix for a bad mood. But they can contribute to a good mood.

You can take these as supplements, for example:

  • Magnesium - Plays a big role in good brain function and mood. It's mainly in green leafy veggies, nuts, and beans, but you can also get it from magnesium pills.
  • Vitamin D - It's in lots of food, but you also get it from soaking up sunshine. Many folks pop a vitamin D supplement in winter months. If you spend a lot of time indoors during the day, it's a good idea to take extra vitamin D.
  • Vitamin B12 - Important for your mood and mental balance. Since it's mostly in animal products, vegetarians or vegans might miss out. It's important to keep an eye on this and consider vitamin B12 supplements!
  • Zinc - Important for protein synthesis, metabolism, and your immune system.
  • Omega-3 - Crucial for your heart, eyes, and brain. Our plant-based omega-3 supplements are made from algae oil.

Tip: Curious about what supplements you might be missing? Take the Online Vitamin Test and get a personalized recommendation in just 2 minutes!


As you've read, eating healthy is key to a good mood. Make sure you get all the vital nutrients through healthy food, keep your diet in check, manage your blood sugar, and eat enough protein.

But healthy eating isn't the only thing. Good sleep, enough exercise, and keeping stress levels in check are also crucial.

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