1. Eat at regular intervals during the day to maintain a good blood sugar level (low blood sugar can cause mood swings).
2. Protein is a good source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid the body converts into the brain chemical serotonin (too little serotonin can cause depression).
3. Consuming a combination of omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts) and uridine (molasses, walnuts, tomatoes, broccoli, liver) has been shown in animal studies to increase brain function and help alleviate depression, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
4. Drink plenty of water (10.5 cups a day is recommended) to keep hydrated. Keep caffeine and alcohol consumption low as they can lead to dehydration, which can cause stress, anxiety and sleep problems — all factors in mood disturbances.
5. Sunlight and vitamin D help curb depression and other mood disorders.
6. Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (found in certain fruits, vegetables and legumes) feed your brain and keep your mood balanced.
7. B vitamins, especially folic acid and B6, help strengthen synapses in the brain and make the liver better able to clear stress hormones from the body.
8. Selenium — a mineral found in wheat germ, brewer's yeast, grains, garlic, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, liver, fish and shellfish — significantly affects mood.
9. Blueberries and green leafy vegetables contain strong antioxidants that protect the brain, which is highly susceptible to oxidative damage.
10. The chemical curcumin (found in the curry spice turmeric) reportedly reduces memory deficits in animal models of Alzheimer's disease and brain trauma.