Winter can be extremely difficult for people who suffer from depression. The sun goes down much earlier, limiting exposure to mood-boosting sunlight and colder temps, reducing your energy levels, and leaving you wanting to cuddle up in bed all day. Also, this is the time of year for all the sugary treats, which are not good for mental health. Fortunately, improving your diet with nutrient-dense foods can drastically improve your mood.
How Do Foods Boost Your Mood?
Fresh fruits, veggies, and lean, healthy proteins increase the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine (happy chemicals). Also, in moderation, dairy and starches are also mood boosters. You should avoid overly processed and high in sugar foods, as they only give a temporary feeling of happiness. It is fast, fleeting, and a vicious cycle. So, if you’re craving something sweet, try a healthier option, such as dark chocolate.
What Are Some Of The Best Mood-Boosting Foods?
Most fruits, veggies, healthy starches, and dairy are nutrient-dense and better for your mood. We have compiled a list of a few that are especially good for the wintertime blues!
Pomegranates are a super food and extremely high in antioxidants, which are great for reducing anxiety. Even drinking pomegranate juice can greatly increase the amount of antioxidants you take in and also has anti-inflammatory properties that are good for anxiety reduction as well!
Being from the squash family, this extremely versatile food is high in magnesium. Magnesium is known to help boost mood and sleep and even help regulate blood pressure. Add pureed pumpkin to soups, smoothies, or pasta sauces for an extra healthy addition.
This tasty starch is chocked full of essential nutrients, particularly vitamin C. Vitamin C is not only an excellent immune system booster, it also has anti-inflammatory properties shown to reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression.
Yeah, we know they aren’t on the top of everyone’s favorite food list. But have you tried them roasted with some olive oil and spices? YUM! Also, they are very rich in folate, a B vitamin that is great for boosting your mood!
You probably won’t eat these as your entire meal, but you can supplement any meal with these superfood greens. Leafy greens, including spinach, lentils, and even broccoli, are high in folate!
These options may not make up your entire meal, but they are great as side dishes or snacks. We all crave hearty comfort foods from time to time, especially in the winter months, but fill half of your plate with some nutrient-dense options to help boost your mood and avoid the winter blues!
What If I Need More Help With Boosting My Mood?
People who suffer from a low mood for more than a few days may have other symptoms as well. Some examples are brain fog and extreme fatigue, among other things. If you are experiencing these symptoms, we can help. Our wellness evaluation with labs can help you determine exactly what is causing these symptoms, and we can get you on the road to feeling like YOU again.