Gut Health

Mood Boosting Foods

Low mood can actually affect how your gut works

Stress and a poor diet all impact gut function. And poor gut health can impact mood because the gut microbiota play a role in the production of feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. Did you know that over 70% of serotonin is produced by bacteria in the gut? Here’s some of our favourite mood boosting foods to help you feel at your best.

Four paper bags containing different varieties of potatoes


Roasted, mashed, cut into chips.. whichever your preference, potatoes are a great source of vitamin C and B vitamins. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce levels of anxiety and B vitamins have been linked with promoting a healthy response to dealing with stress. Pile them high!

A chicken curry in a wooden pot with herbs and spices


Chances are you’ve already got this one on the list, but we’ll tell you how great it is anyway. Chicken contains Tryptophan which is a precursor of Serotonin. And Serotonin plays a key role in helping us feel balanced and well. Chicken is a great addition to pasta, salads or curry!


Oats are packed with all sorts of goodness. As a carbohydrate they release insulin which allows glucose to enter cells and they also facilitate the entry of tryptophan to the brain. So, why not make some delicious flapjacks – sure to be a hit with the whole family.


Beans and pulses contain key nutrients like zinc, folate and tryptophan. Pulses are an easy and cost-effective way to bulk up meals and get extra nutrients on your plate.

Bananas on a pink background


Bananas aren’t just joyful in colour, they’re a good source of vitamin B – proven to support the ability to manage stress. Add some slices to your breakfast for a healthy start to the day.


Like extra virgin olive oil and fatty fish, walnuts are a wonderful source of omega 3 fats – effective in improving depression scores. Grab a handful and enjoy.

Leafy greens

Make sure these feel good greens have got a place at the table! Leafy greens like kale and spinach contain tryptophan, magnesium and folate – all important in supporting the production of serotonin and healthy brain function.

orange lemon lime slice


Oranges are a great go to snack for enjoying one of your 5-a-day in a refreshing way. And citrus fruits, and berries, are packed with vitamin C which can help reduce anxiety levels.

Dark chocolate

Swap that milk chocolate for dark – your gut will thank you. It’s higher in fibre, containing around 8-10g fibre per 100g (compared to just 3g in milk chocolate) providing essential food for our gut microbes and linked with better mental health. We’re convinced!


Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries… these little guys are packed with vitamin C which has been linked to reduced anxiety levels. The perfect topping on porridge or a cheeky slice of cheesecake.

Dark chocolate pieces
A red mug of porridge topped with almonds, raspberries and blueberries, next to a small wooden spoon


Eggs really are sunny-side up. These little guys are a good source of tryptophan – a precursor of serotonin, the happy hormone. Tryptophan can also be found in a wide variety of protein containing foods, like fish and poultry.


In fact, it’s not just lovely lentils. Legumes, like beans and pulses, are all rich in folate which can help boost your mood and support stress.

Discover more