Written by Melanie Kozlan, Four Green Steps.com

Finding yourself inexplicably gloomy or a little depressed from the miserable weather? Feeling down might be an indicator that you’re missing out on essential mood-boosting nutrients. Here’s a list of healthy foods proven to make you feel instantly happier:

Tryptophan-Rich Foods

Tryptophan is one of the ten essential amino acids and helps our brains produce serotonin, which makes us feel relaxed and in control. Food that has tryptophan can help fight depression, insomnia and anxiety. Foods containing tryptophan include:

  • Milk (Vegan? Drink hemp milk- hemp seeds contain all ten essential amino acids!)
  • Cashews
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Bananas
  • Avocados

*For the full effect of tryptophan it is best to eat these items uncooked.

Oranges - a mood-boosting food

Photo credit D Sharon Pruitt

Fruits rich in Antioxidants & Vitamin C

Fruit like blueberries and oranges are known to contain a high amount of antioxidants and vitamin C, both are helpful for reducing feelings of stress.

Vegetables Rich in Antioxidants & Folic Acid

Spinach, broccoli and kale are full of folic acid which help produce serotonin (just like tryptophan does).


Contains anadamine, a chemical naturally found in the brain that is know to brighten our mood and make us feel happier. Enjoy in moderation as the sugar in chocolate might contribute to other issues.


Nuts are rich in minerals, protein and omega-3 fats. Omega-3 is not only good for both your heart and brain, large doses of it have been used to treat clinical depression. Nuts also contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that combats stress. Brazilian nuts such as cashews, almonds and pistachios have been proven to lower blood pressure and calm our nervous system.


Melanie Kozlan is the Senior Content Director of Four Green Steps
– your one-stop destination for all things green! Four Green Steps is home to the World’s largest Green marketplace, offering an eco-friendly alternative to virtually everything as well as a free ecological curriculum used by students from all around the globe.


Michael Pollan answers questions from readers in an interview with Time Magazine.

The End of Food
The End of FoodHow the food industry is destroying our food supply — and what you can do about it

By Thomas F. Pawlick

This is the book I had wanted to write after I completed my natural nutrition program. Turns out it was part of the curriculum.

Pawlick, an investigative science journalist and experienced organic farmer, takes a critical look at our current food production practices in North America and blasts our misguided system that places profit over quality and sustainability.

He starts with a story about a single bright red tomato and a simple question that we have all asked: why is it so hard?

This question introduces a fascinating look at incredible industrial farming practices that have left our soil depleted of the nutrients it needs to produce plants of any nutritional value, poisoned water systems, destroyed wildlife, spread disease, ruined rural communities and, I would say, endangered the health of the general public.

The End of Food is informative, scary, sometimes dizzying and downright depressing, but Pawlick is trying to piss us off. Why? Because there’s no reason we need to be doing this. These are man-made problems that began in an era when we didn’t know any better. But we know better now, and Pawlick argues it’s time to do something about it. I agree.

The End of Food is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in the quality of the food they eat.

A few years old but great insights from this Ted Talk.