If you’re experiencing the February Blue’s—especially this year with what seems to be a winter of never ending snow storms—try adding some of these foods chock full of nutrients that will help you get your happy back. Bonus: this healthy, low calorie menu will make your taste buds happy too! Below is a list of these common, yet powerful foods with their mood boosting properties along with our One-Day Sample Mood Boosting Menu to help you conquer your February Blues.
Green Tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid, which is shown to improve your mood, while reducing stress and anxiety. L-theanine promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness and may increase mental alertness, focus, and memory.
Papayas are high in vitamin B6 and folic acid that are typically lacking in people who suffer from depression. Fish Oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are essential to brain function and cardiovascular health. An established link between people with depression and low levels of these omega-3 fatty acids is now known. Recent studies have found daily doses of omega-3s have help boost the mood-elevating power of prescription antidepressants.
Vitamin D Fortified Milk does the body good. Low serum levels of vitamin D lead to a higher incidence of PMS, seasonal affective disorder, and depression. The sun’s rays allow our bodies to synthesize and regulate vitamin D. Since sunshine is oftentimes absent during the dark days of winter, vitamin D fortified milk along with a good Vitamin D supplement is important to helping you keep a sunny disposition.
Bananas boost serotonin and dopamine production. These two neurotransmitters in your brain help keep you happy and energized versus chronically depressed and lethargic. Healthy fat like that found in Avocados help raise dopamine levels and increase endorphins. (Again, both mood and energy boosting brain neurotransmitters.) In addition to being high in fiber and good fat for brain health,
Almonds are proven to increase dopamine levels.
One-Day Sample Mood Boosting Menu
1 cup green tea or coffee with 1T. low-fat vitamin D fortified milk, 2 pieces Ezekiel bread toasted. Spread with 1T. (1 ½ tsp. each) almond butter, and ½ banana, sliced. 1 tab vitamin D and 2 caps omega 3 supplements.
1 cup vitamin D fortified 2% low-fat yogurt, 1 capful real vanilla, and ¾ cup diced seasonal fruit, such as persimmons or frozen blueberries. Have green tea, or water to drink.
Mix 2 ounces water packed tuna and 1 tsp. avocado oil, seasoning with fresh cracked pepper to taste. Spread on 1 rice cake.
6 ounce grilled salmon with fresh avocado mango salsa, ½ cup steamed brown rice, and 1 cup steamed dark green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, or broccoli. Have water to drink or herbal, caffeine free tea. (*Avocado Mango Salsa Recipe Link: Click here.)
12 raw or plain toasted almonds and one medium apple.