9 Foods to Lift Your Mood

March 21, 20148710054522_938c49f1a9

We all have those days…those days where we just feel…blah. Whether it’s stress at work, trouble at home, or hormones-all kinds of things can contribute to our feeling down from time to time. There are of course many things we can ingest that don’t involve popping a Xanax. Sometimes depression or anxiety can come from not having sufficient amounts of certain vitamins. Try chowing down on these 9 foods to lift your mood the next time you are feeling glum.

1. Dark Chocolate
You may not be surprised to hear that dark chocolate improves your mood. Your taste buds can attest that this delicious dessert item makes you feel good but it is much more than that. Chowing down on small amounts of dark chocolate will help to release endorphins and boosts serotonin levels.

2. Asparagus
One of the reasons for depression can be linked to low folate levels. Asparagus is a great source of folate as well as one of the few veggie sources that provide the body with tryptophan. Tryptophan is necessary for the creation of serotonin, one of the mood-regulating neurotransmitters for the brain.

3. Honey
Honey is not only nature’s delicious natural sweetener, it contains quercetin and kaempferol which is important for clearing out free radicals and cutting down on inflammation in the body. Low levels of inflammation are very important for maintaining a healthy brain. Obviously, Winnie the Pooh was on to something.

4. Coffee
Coffee addicts unite! It isn’t just you. The caffeine in coffee creates stimulating effects in the brain which gets our minds and bodies moving.

5. Bananas
Bananas are another great source of tryptophan which as mentioned above is important for the creation of serotonin. The potassium in bananas is also great for reducing stress because it aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle function, and heart rhythm.

6. Red Meat
While red meat often gets a bad rap, it is still important to eat in small amounts-especially for women. A common cause of fatigue in women is low levels of iron. Fatigue can make us feel down so it is important to eat moderate amounts of meat to get your iron levels up.7200350570_3ab5cdb3bd

7. Spinach
Leafy green veggies are vital for long-term happiness and there is a reason why. Having a vitamin B deficiency has been linked to depression. The reason being that serotonin production can actually be deterred by low vitamin B levels.

8. Oysters
I know I mention oysters in almost every healthy food article but there are plenty of reasons why- not just because they are tasty! Oysters contain tyrosine, an amino acid that produces various chemicals which can help to elevate your mood. Oysters also contain an incredible amount of zinc which is necessary for energy production and brain health.

9. Lentils
Lentils are not only a versatile legume; they are also folate friendly and a good source of iron as well. They are used in a wide variety of foods and you probably already have them stashed away in your cupboard!

Next time you are feeling down, remember that these foods can help fight the blues!

-Monica Bologna

Photo Credit: Flickr/simpleprovisions/rob_rob2001

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