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Are you feeling down? Do you need a little boost to make you happier? Try these top foods that improve mood to bring more cheer into your life.
You’ve probably heard that meditation, aromatherapy and exercise can improve your mood and make you feel happier. But, what if those things don’t interest you or you’re looking for additional ways to bring more happiness to your life?
Research has shown that there are some foods that, when consumed regularly, can raise your serotonin levels and decrease stress and depression. And because you can easily add these foods to your weekly meal plan, you can give your family a boost of happiness too.
Here are five great foods that improve mood quickly to help you beat depression and stress:
1. Leafy Greens to Fight Depression
Consuming 1-2 servings of spinach, kale or romaine every day will keep the blues away. Leafy greens are high in folic acid which has been proven to reduce depression.
This study notes that increasing folic acid along with B12 improves response to antidepressant medication. For more of a benefit, add some green or red peppers to your salad; they are high in Vitamin C which reduces stress hormones.
2. Berries to Boost Brain Power
Any kind of berry will do, but blueberries and blackberries are loaded with a higher level of anthocyanidins than other berries. These compounds have been shown to boost brain power. Just check out the results of this study that suggest the anthocyanidins in blueberries may enhance memory.
Fresh or frozen, the benefit is the same. There are so many ways to incorporate berries into your daily routine. Add them to a spinach salad or toss them in a smoothie with kale!
3. Shellfish for More Motivation and Less Depression
When we are running low on vitamin B12, we become sluggish and less motivated to move and exercise. Shellfish is the richest source of B-12 so it will quickly and naturally boost your energy to get you moving again.
Vitamin B12 can also battle depression along with folic acid. If you are allergic to shellfish or don’t like the taste, other animal products like fish, red meat, eggs, and dairy are good sources.
4. Dark Chocolate to Reduce Stress
Need an excuse to eat more chocolate? Here it is! Dark Chocolate reduces your stress hormones by releasing serotonin.
If you need a midday calm, reach for your favorite dark chocolate bar. To get the most benefit, it should be at least 72% Cacao and less than 5 grams of sugar. So, look for a high-quality chocolate like Lindt 90% cocoa.
Chocolate has been shown to improve negative moods rather quickly. Researchers concluded in this study that the immediate effect of chocolate to improve mood may be due to the pleasing taste of chocolate.
5. Coffee and Green Tea to Decrease Risk of Depression
Studies have shown that caffeine decreases the risk of depression. So enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee first thing in the morning to get your day off to a more cheerful start.
If you are feeling stressed and unfocused during the day, reach for green tea. It contains Theanine, a calming agent that reduces stress and helps you regain your focus.
Foods that Improve Mood: Conclusion
Spinach, blueberries, clams, dark chocolate, and green tea are all terrific foods that improve mood. Consuming these foods on a regular basis will help you naturally reduce stress, boost your energy and fight depression.
What mood boosting foods will you eat today?