Four Foods to Boost Your Mood

Staying Hydrated with Electrolytes
We all have rough days.  Maybe you are stressed out with work, overwhelmed with your kids schedule or just plain blue.  However, did you know that in many cases food can be your best defense against feeling down in the dumps?  That’s right, many foods contain nutrients that actually help boost your mood and give you a little pick-me-up to get you through your day!  Here are my 4 favorite mood boosting foods:

Cashews – Often called “nature’s anti-depressant”, cashews contain high levels of the amino acid Tryptophan.  Tryptophan is also what is found in turkey and what is responsible for that warm and fuzzy feeling after Thanksgiving dinner!  It is broken down into serotonin, which gives your body a feeling of well-being.

Mood Boosting Tip: Combine ¼ cup cashews and a piece of fruit for a great afternoon snack!

Salmon – Studies have shown that people with higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood stream reported a better sense of well-being and were found to be more agreeable.   Omega-3 fatty acids actually changes the way your brain functions (in a good way!) so it’s important to make it a consistent part of your diet.  Shoot for fish 2-3 days/week!

Mood Boosting Tip: Not a big fan of fish?  Flaxseeds and walnuts are also great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids!

Staying Hydrated with Electrolytes

Green Tea – Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine, which has been shown to increase the dopamine levels in the brain.  Another study showed that participants who consumed theanine were less likely to experience increased heart rate and other stress related symptoms during a stressful task – think less palm sweats, heart racing and knees knocking during a presentation!

Mood Boosting Tip: Switch out your afternoon coffee for a cup of green tea or try icing it for a late summer cool down!

Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate stimulates the productions of endorphins.  Endorphins are the chemicals in your brain that causes you to feel pleasure – and have you ever seen anyone eat chocolate and not smile?!

Mood Boosting Tip: Try this Dark Chocolate Nut Cluster recipe for a delicious stress release!

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