With daily forecasts often including snow, rain and abundant cloud cover, it can be difficult to maintain a sunny outlook. But did you know it’s possible to boost your mood with food?
It’s that time of year: The holidays are over, the daily outdoor temps are cold and the heater is constantly in the “on” position. These factors may make it a tempting time to reach for those comfort foods we all know and love: grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes. While these foods can temporarily makes us feel better, they can also create a cycle of self-medicating with non-nutritious foods.
Growing research finds that the quality of our food is not only good for our physical health, but also for our mood, influencing anxiety and depression.
If you want to beat the wintertime blues, try these foods to boost your mood.
Boost Your Mood with these Foods
The B vitamins that are found in leafy greens affect the neurotransmitters that impact your mood.
Oysters, mussels and other shellfish have a high concentration of vitamin B12, an important vitamin for your brain. B12 deficiencies can lead to depression and anxiety.
Studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, tuna and rainbow trout are associated with a lower risk of depression thanks to boosting levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Love your legumes
Chickpeas, kidney beans and other legumes can help stabilize blood glucose levels and help you avoid energy slumps.
Just make sure it’s dark chocolate, which has antioxidants that help reduce stress hormones, like cortisol. Watch your portions – about one and half ounces packs enough mood-boosting power.
Magnesium, which plays a major role in converting sugar into energy, is found in almonds, cashews and hazelnuts. These nuts are also filled with fiber to give you longer lasting energy than a cup of coffee ever could.
Boost your berries
Berries, especially blueberries, are packed with antioxidants that help support brain function and also promote positive energy by stimulating the production of feel-good enzymes in the brain.
Need an easy recipe to get you started? Try this easy and delicious salmon with lemon vinaigrette!