Dreary winter weather can have a negative effect on your mood, making you feel sluggish and blue. While depression and anxiety are serious mental illnesses that should be assessed by your doctor, a simple bad day that leaves you glum may be able to be treated with a snack.
Discover some of the best foods for lifting your mood below:
Walnuts. Not only are they good for your heart, walnuts are also good for your mood. These hard-shell nuts can help balance mood hormones like serotonin and dopamine while aiding in the regulation of cortisol levels that encourage general feelings of well-being.
Saffron. A natural antidepressant, saffron can help those suffering from depression and anxiety. A 2015 study found that one of the main components of the spice was more effective than a placebo when taken with a SSRI.
Oatmeal. This breakfast staple is also great for boosting serotonin levels, relieving pain, and promoting restful sleep—all factors that can help improve your mood.
Bananas. These bright yellow fruits are packed with vitamins and nutrients that raise serotonin levels and balance dopamine, helping you shed fat with a smile.
Kale. Low in calories but high in nutrients, kale is not only good for your mood, but for your cellular function too. It can help decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Spinach. This food is a great way to boost your mood, as it can help relieve tension and relax your muscles, allowing you to destress.
Green tea. While we often hear about the fat burning benefits of this simple drink, green tea also contains antioxidants and amino acids that protect your health and fight depression.
Avocado. One of the most popular food trends, avocados are good for more than just guacamole. They’re heart healthy and help with the absorption of nutrients from other food sources, and may also help relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Potatoes. These yummy vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients to lift your mood and lower your anxiety.
Chocolate. This treat is another food that can lift your mood, though it needs to be close to pure cocoa. While milk chocolate may taste better, if you want the mood lifting benefits, it’s better to reach for dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa.
Adding any one of these foods to your diet can help to naturally boost your mood and shake off the winter blues, all while reaping the benefits of additional nutritional value.
Related: 14 foods that improve mood naturally