Pep up with a choice of mood-enhancing foods

Choosing what we eat has a lot more influence on the state of our minds than a mood ring does. Some foods really do enhance our mental outlooks because they contain nutrients that are known to pep us up psychologically.

Invariably, the choices that put us in a good frame of mind can also improve our physical health.

“Food, if it’s chosen well, can reshape our medical destinies for the better,” David Katz, M.D., director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, told “It can also improve our mood, focus, energy, skin, and metabolism.”

Walnuts, for instance, are believed to contribute to mood stability and help people handle stress because they contain a good dose of tryptophan, an amino acid linked to the chemical serotonin, which is believed to regulate our feelings of well-being. According to, serotonin is found principally in the digestive tract and central nervous system and may influence our anxiety levels as well as how we learn and sleep.

The powerful B’s
Vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid also contain substances that enhance or help form neurotransmitters – including serontonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine – that calm people. For B6, people should consume more avocados, baked potatoes with the skin on, bananas and chickpeas. B12 can be found in significant amounts in clams, fat-free milk and plain yogurt, salmon, sardines and chicken.

An easy way to include the B vitamins in one’s diet is to take a daily supplement such as Vital B-100 from Dr. Newton’s Naturals, which has both neurological and physical benefits that help relieve stress and boost cardiovascular function.

Vital B-100 also contains 50 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily dose of folic acid, also known as B9, which is credited with bolstering brain and nervous system function, according to Elson Haas, M.D., who wrote the book, “Staying Healthy With Nutrition.”

Foods that are high in folic acid include chickpeas, lentils, oatmeal, orange juice and dark leafy greens.

Other foods that are believed to keep people in good moods usually contain a good dose of magnesium, a nutrient also credited with stimulating mood-enhancing brain chemicals. For those who like nuts and seeds, magnesium can be found in almonds and sunflower seeds as well as spinach, tofu and wild rice.

The stress-busting dietary aid Super C22 from Dr. Newton’s Naturals not only protects the immune system with 22 forms of vitamin C, but also contains calcium and magnesium.