Try a daily dose of mood-boosting foods

By Sari Huhtala

Feeling gloomy? Boosting your mood may be as simple as eating a daily handful of berries, which have a similar chemical composition as some antidepressants and mood-stabilizing drugs, researchers have discovered.

Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries have a natural mood enhancer chemical that is similar to valproic acid, often used in drugs prescribed for depression, anxiety and manic-depressive disorder, scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico found.

Chocolate has been revered for a long time for its mood-boosting qualities, and falls within the category of foods that have a similar chemical composition to valproic acid, they add.

The scientists studied over 1,700 substances that make up foods, in search of potential mood modulators, highlighting the benefits of valproic acid-like natural chemicals in berries, chocolate and select teas.

Although not a substitute for pharmaceuticals, researchers say this may lay the foundation for future food industry research linking diet and mental health conditions, and potential dietary guidelines for improving mental health.

Photo credit: ©[ OlgaMiltsova] via Canva 

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