With the sun rising late and setting early in the winter afternoons, it can be easy to get yourself into a depressed funk. But, did you know, the foods we eat can help with our overall moods. Here are 10 foods to incorporate into your diet to keep you happy and smiling all through winter.
Spinach is full of folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, which helps to boost your mood and fight depression. Spinach is also full of magnesium which helps boost energy. Other leafy greens such as swiss chard and kale are also good options.
2. Salmon (or other oily fish)
Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines or trout are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to keep our brains stable. The omega-3s also help keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol while reducing inflammation in the body.
Walnuts are high in magnesium and omega-3s which are good for fighting depression. It is also low in saturated fat, making it a good source of healthy fats for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
4. Dark Chocolate
As most people know, a little bit of dark chocolate can go a long way in keeping you smiling. It stimulates the brain to release endorphins which make you happy. It is rich in antioxidants and can help to reduce anxiety.
Avocados are rich in serotonin which is a feel-good neurotransmitter. They also have omega-3 fatty acids which are linked with brain health and function, and mood regulation.
6. Green Tea
Green tea contains theanine which is an antioxidant that helps to keep you calm and relaxed. Another plus, the polyphenols found in green tea can destroy bacteria that lead to bad breath and tooth decay.
Honey contains kaempferol and quercetin, chemicals which reduce inflammation in the brain which helps to prevent depression. It is also a healthier option for a sweetener when stirred into tea or drizzled on top of your morning yogurt.
Oats and other whole grain foods help to regulate blood sugar levels, releasing energy throughout the day. This makes it a good way to wake up and have energy to keep going.
9. Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is full of probiotics which assist in improving your mood and immune system. They’re also good for digestion and overall health.
Asparagus is high in folate and tryptophan. Low folate has been linked to depression and tryptophan helps you to make serotonin, the happy hormone, which maintains your mood and emotions. Turkey also produces the same result in small doses – just not too much or else you’ll fall asleep!
And if you’re trying to stay happy and positive, why don’t you make a day of happy meals:
- Breakfast: Greek yogurt with oats and a drizzle of honey
- Drink: Green tea throughout the day
- Snack: Walnuts for a mid morning snack
- Lunch: Spinach salad with avocado slices
- Snack: Piece of dark chocolate in the mid afternoon
- Dinner: Salmon and asparagus