While many doctors are quick to take out the prescription pad, I prefer finding natural ways to boost mood and energy. Nearly 14.8 million American adults are affected by a depressive disorder. One natural way to boost mood and energy levels is to change what we are feeding our bodies. In addition to this, exercise, chiropractic care and other natural remedies have lead to vast improvements in thoughts and behaviors.

Here are 7 foods to start working in to your diet today!

1. Mussels 

Vitamins and minerals (or lack thereof) are often contributing factors to our mood. Mussels have more naturally occurring B12 than most other food sources. B12 is known to protect the brain by preserving the myelin sheath which insulates the brain and helps you stay sharp as you age. Other mood balancing nutrients present in mussels include zinc, iodine and selenium. These nutrients help balance the thyroid and keep hormones steady.

2.  Swiss Chard

If you feel like your energy level is lacking, make a meal with swiss chard. It tastes great in a salad or sauteed alongside a healthy meal! The reason that swiss boosts energy is that it is filled with magnesium. This nutrient is responsible for promoting biochemical reactions within the brain that result in an extra energy boost.

3. Chocolate

This is one mood boosting food that many of us already love! While the key to everything is moderation, chocolate (specifically dark chocolate) has a positive impact on mood. According to research, eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks can reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) thanks to it’s antioxidant levels.

4. Fish

Omega-3s are a great way to boost your mood naturally. In fact, our bodies do not produce them on our own and often many people supplement with fish oil or by eating fish to take advantage of this nutrient. When ingested, levels of both dopamine and serotonin increase in the brain.

5. Saffron

This spice is specifically helpful for women who are expressing the symptoms associated with PMS. Saffron has been found to produce results similar to those associated with the prescription anti-depressant Prozac.

6. Greek Yogurt

Studies have found that lack of calcium can manifest itself in the body in forms of anxiety, decreased memory, slow thinking and depression. Greek yogurt is packed with calcium and can be a tasty addition to a meal or a simple, healthy snack.

7. Coconut 

The scent of coconut has been associated with a slower heart beat and a reduction in the bodies natural “fight or flight” response. Inhaling the scent of coconut has been found to lower blood pressure as well.