16 Foods To Help Beat the Winter Blues
Raw OatsOrganic, raw oats are incredibly nutritious, and support gut health. They also help regulate mood because they help keep blood sugar levels stable. Plus, they are a good source of mood-boosting selenium. They also provide tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin – the feel-good hormone! Try these overnight oats for an easy way to get more oats in your daily diet.
QuinoaBoost your B vitamins with quinoa. Low levels of B-12 and other B vitamins are linked to the blues. Quinoa has a high variety of B vitamins that helps maintain healthy serotonin levels. At normal levels, serotonin helps you feel happier, calmer, and focused. This protein-rich, complex carbohydrate is an excellent grain for a plant-based diet.
WalnutsWalnuts are a good source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also another amazing dietary source of serotonin. So, instead of munching on potato chips, try grabbing a handful of walnuts. You can also add them to oatmeal, salads, and grains to boost your mood.
Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin seeds are rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and many other nutrients. Raw, unsalted green pumpkin seeds are a great source of the mineral zinc, which has been shown to help boost mood. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of iron. Iron breaks down tryptophan and tyrosine to produce serotonin and dopamine. A quarter cup per day is all you’ll need to boost your mood.
Organic raw cacaoThere’s nothing better than a soothing cup of cocoa to make you feel warm and cozy during the winter season. But instead of sipping on overly-processed, sugar-loaded commercial brands, opt for raw, organic cacao to get the mood-boosting benefits without the questionable ingredients. Raw cacao is the ultimate “feel-good” superfood, while commercial cocoa drinks are generally overprocessed and filled with unhealthy chemicals and sugar. Cacao Bliss is a decadent and healthy way to get your hot chocolate fix this winter! Sourced directly from Peru, Cacao Bliss is made with raw cacao. In fact, it’s the polyphenols found in raw cacao that helps support your mood. Plus, cacao contains anandamide, the “bliss” molecule, which helps keep you motivated and happy.
AvocadosAvocados are packed with nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins — particularly B6. And thanks to their rise in popularity, they are available year-round. B6 helps your body make serotonin, which helps regulate mood. Avocados are also high fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar. Stabilized blood sugar helps keep hunger and mood levels stable.
Lentils and beansLentils and beans are a great source of vitamin B6 and folate. Both are key players in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine regulates how you experience pleasure. Lentils and beans are also complex carbohydrates, which help to boost serotonin levels.
Free-range, organic turkeyWinter is the season of turkey. Turkey meat contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps keep you calm and relaxed. And since tryptophan helps your body regulate serotonin, it also helps regulate your hunger and creates feelings of happiness.
Fermented FoodsFermented foods like kimchi, tempeh, miso, and sauerkraut are loaded in natural probiotics. Probiotics, when used correctly, can balance the good and bad bacteria in the gut. And since there is a gut-brain connection, the gut may influence mood. In fact, two of the most common strains of probiotics found in fermented foods are shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote good mood.
Leafy greensDid you know that leafy greens can increase energy all winter long? In fact, many greens such as spinach, kale, arugula, chard, mustard greens, collard greens, and turnip greens are all rich in vitamins and minerals that significantly boost energy.
Fatty fishFatty fish, like tuna and wild salmon, are high in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Scientists have explored whether fish oils may help prevent mood disorders. Studies show that both DHA and EPA are thought to have the most potential to benefit for improving mood. So, go ahead and add fatty fish to your diet at least twice a week to enjoy the mood-boosting benefits.
TurmericTurmeric is a golden spice that has been long recognized for its medicinal properties — including fighting inflammation and improving joint pain. But it also has mood-supporting benefits. Studies suggest turmeric has a positive overall effect on your mood. Curcumin, the main active compound in turmeric, is thought to help calm occasional anxiety and stress. Just remember to ingest a pinch of black pepper when taking turmeric in order to increase its bioavailability.
Green teaGreen tea contains many mood-boosting nutrients, such as the L-theanine, an amino acid linked to lowering stress and anxiety, elevating mood, and encouraging relaxation. But if you’re looking for something a little more aromatic, creamy, and decadent you might want to try Chai Bliss! Chai Bliss is made with green tea as its base and packed with mood-supporting superfoods that help you feel calm while also helping you stay alert. And unlike coffee or black tea, you won’t experience those jitters. * Here’s what you’ll get from Chai Bliss:
- A blend of health-boosting, antioxidant-rich spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, cardamom, and black pepper*
- L-Theanine, to help keep you calm, focused, and centered*
- Zinc, for brain health, immunity, and mood*
- Lion’s Mane Mushrooms, to help benefit your brain’s cognitive function and focus*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.