The dreary winter weather, cold and shorter days, coupled with the lack of sunshine, may have you feeling a little less than summertime excited this time of year.
While you can’t do much about the weather, you can change your diet and incorporate foods that are going to help you boost your mood, boost your confidence and in the end make it more likely that you will stay on track with your health and weight loss goals.
Here’s 8 foods to help you get happy:
Coconut is a soothing smell, which is often used in candles and essential oils. Smelling and consuming this calming ingredient has been shown to reduce stress and lower blood pressure, in turn enhancing mood.
These large, banana shaped nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, a natural mineral that comes from the soil. Selenium is a mineral that is important in cognitive function, and many studies have shown that optimal intake of selenium is linked with a decrease in depression symptoms and negative mood.
Spirulina (and other seaweeds)
Seaweed is high in tryptophan, the mood boosting amino acid, which we often hear about in turkey. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, our mood stabilization hormone, and our body cannot synthesize it on its own. This means we need to obtain it from our diet and spirulina is a great way to help ensure we get enough to boost our serotonin levels!
Dark chocolate, with its high content of cacao has natural polyphenols, which act as an antioxidant in the body, helping to protect and detoxify. It also releases positive mood boosting or happiness chemicals, which work together with the antioxidants to make your mood soar high and your happiness increase!
Fish is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain function and blood circulation. Having a healthy brain which releases hormones and regulates emotion goes a long way in boosting our mood, while adequate blood circulation is what helps us stay energized!
The Chinese had been using Goji berries in their daily diet for years before they became known as a western American superfood. They used them to help increase energy and release hormones, both of which help regulate mood. Gojis also help increase the body’s ability to handle stress.
Folate is another nutrient that has been shown to ease depressive symptoms and help boost positive mood vibes. Lentils are a great source of folate, as well as offering lots of fiber and protein.
Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin is another vitamin which has been shown to have an impact on the serotonin levels in our brain. While you can get a lot of it from the sun (spend at least 30 minutes a day outside), mushrooms are a great food source of this serotonin boosting vitamin!