Well, winter is upon us. With the early sunset, freezing temperatures, and end of vacation it can be easy to feel a little blue. Bundled up head to toe, with only inches of skin exposed, winter makes me feel… bleh… for lack of a better word. There’s not much that can be done to change the weather, other than praying to the weather gods. However, what you can do is eat these 7 foods that increase your mood and add that spring back to your step.
Salmon is high in omega-3s which work to reduce feelings of depression. It also contains vitamin B12. Low levels of B12 lessen the production of serotonin; when serotonin is low, feelings of depression are likelier to occur. The protein also contains amino acids such as dopamine and tyrosine, key regulators in mood stability.
Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries all contribute to limit the release of cortisol, a hormone that plays a vital role in regulating stress and emotional balance.
Milk contains vitamin D, which improves mood. Alternatively, the body can produce vitamin D as a result of sun exposure.
Dark Chocolate (at least 70%)
Dark chocolate results in the body producing phenylalanine, which increases the level of dopamine in the brain, blocking pain. The higher the cocoa percentage, the more effective the chocolate will be.
Besides being a great source of energy, bananas contain magnesium, which improves sleep quality as well as decreases levels of anxiety.
Oranges (and other fruits high in vitamin C) increase energy and are a great way to improve immunity so you don’t get sick. The vitamin C also lowers anxiety.
Nuts contain magnesium and omega-3s, which contain the benefits listed above. Walnuts are especially high in omega-3s.
Bonus: Foods to Stay Away From
Sugar leads to a slow down of brain functioning. Also, the low that follows the sugar high can put a damper on your mood. So while it can be tempting to buy that candy bar to make you feel better, resist! You’ll feel better in the long run.
If your mood becomes unbearably down and you are feeling depressed, please go seek help. Go to your school’s counseling services or call a hotline if you need to speak to someone anonymously.
Here are some articles about winter foods: