I’m sure you know that exercising and spending time with family and good friends can be beneficial to your mood, but what if you need an immediate boost to your mood or you’re looking for ways to boost your energy levels? Studies show that there are certain foods that can actually raise your serotonin levels and decrease depression when consumed on a regular basis. And because they are foods that you can easily add to your weekly meal plan, you can give your family a boost of happiness too! Plus, these will be super delish additions to your grocery list that the whole family will enjoy!
Here are 7 great foods known to improve your mood
Berries. All kinds of berries are great, but blueberries and blackberries are loaded with higher levels of anthocyanins (known for its brain boosting powers) than other berries. Enjoy them fresh, on top of oatmeal or yogurt, or add frozen berries to a smoothie.
Peppers. Red and green bell peppers are high in Vitamin C, which reduces stress hormones. Hot chilies are another good sources of Vitamin C. You receive the highest benefits when you eat them raw. My children like to slice up some bell peppers and just eat them like that which offers a nice fresh crunchy snack that not only mom likes but kids do to!
Popcorn. Popcorn raises your serotonin levels, helping you to relax and improve your mood. Air popped corn is better for you and provides a higher source of mood-boosting serotonin over a bag of processed microwave popcorn. You can still enjoy the benefits of air popped corn with the convenience of a microwave by putting a handful of kernels in a brown paper bag, folding the top down, and popping on high for a couple of minutes.
Shellfish. When your body is low in Vitamin B-12, you tend to become lethargic and feel less motivated. Shellfish is one of the best sources of B-12 so it will naturally boost your energy and get you moving again.
Dark Chocolate. Dark Chocolate will reduce stress hormones by releasing serotonin, perfect if you need to find a moment of calm. To receive the most benefits, it should be at least 72% Cacao and less than 5 grams of sugar so look for a high-quality chocolate. Studies have also found that after enjoying dark chocolate, people were more likely to offer help to someone else.
Leafy Greens. A serving or two of spinach, romaine or kale every day will keep the blues away. They are high in folic acid, which reduces depression. For an added benefit, make a salad and add some fresh peppers!
Coffee and Green Tea. Caffeine decreases the risk of depression in women so enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee blend in the morning to get your day going. Feeling stressed or unfocused mid-day? Fix yourself a cup of green tea. It has Theatine, which reduces stress and helps you regain your focus.
Be sure to check out My Favorite Go-To Mid-Afternoon Snacks !
Enjoy these great foods every day to lower your stress, boost your energy, and fight depression naturally.