Can you blame your bad mood on your food? New research says yes. That’s because soil levels of selenium – an antioxidant micronutrient involved in over 400 biochemical functions – are greatly depleted. And because foods grown in that soil are coming up seriously short in selenium.

Selenium is required for the proper function of the thyroid, which plays an important role in mood and behavior. As a result, people with a selenium deficiency may have an increased risk for depression.

A recent study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal found a connection between mood and selenium intake. Benefits of selenium intake were sseen when men who boosted their intake of dietary selenium to 220 mcg daily felt less anxious and more energetic, pleasant, and confident. And those with the most selenium in their blood felt the best. What’s more, the men in the study who initially had the lowest moods saw the biggest improvement.

Put a smile on your face and get your fill of this mood booster. Brazil nuts are the richest food source of selenium. In fact, just one Brazil nut – if you buy it shelled and crack it yourself – averages 100 mcg. (A Brazil nut that you buy already shelled averages 12-25 mcg.) Other excellent sources of selenium include button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, cod, shrimp, snapper, tuna, halibut, calf liver, and salmon.

[Ed. Note: Kelley Herring is the founder and CEO of Healing Gourmet and the author of the new e-book, Guilt-Free Desserts: 20 All-Natural, Fail-Proof, Low-Glycemic Desserts Just in Time for the Holidays. Learn more about how simple lifestyle choices can improve your health by reading ETR’s free natural health e-letter.]

Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet.
Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.