Savor these foods to improve your mood

Your mood maybe affected by the weather and lack of sun and in-season foods that typically have a positive effect on your mood. But, there are foods that are available now that will help you smile and improve your mood.

The holidays are over, the weather is cold and fresh, local foods are hard to find during this time off the year. Your mood maybe affected by the weather, the lack of sun and the foods that typically can have a positive effect on our mood are not in season. Not to worry – explore the foods that are available during winter months that will make you smile and improve your mood.

First, break away or minimize the use of processed food. This can be a positive move for your mood. Michigan State University Extension and the American Heart Association suggest picking unprocessed foods now in season, like apples, oranges, onions, garlic, lentils, milk and low or fat free, no sugar added yogurt. Garlic and onions will promote healthy arteries to ensure proper blood flow to the brain. These savory vegetables will relax your blood vessels and decrease blood, which can be a major cause of depression.

Tomatoes are not a fresh, local food in January, however, search for tomato sauce or paste that is free of other added ingredients and add your own spices. Pay attention to the amount of sugar and sodium in these products. Sugar is naturally occurring in tomatoes and producers may add more. Tomatoes are high in mood enhancers like folate and magnesium, both used to treat depression. They contain iron, tryptophan and vitamin B6 – the main ingredients needed by your brain to produce important mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

Finally, you probably have heard that fish is brain food and it is wonderful for addressing gloomy moods. Omega-3 fats found in salmon and shrimp can help the body, as well as the following fish products: Anchovies, mackerel, sardines, lake trout and tuna.

The proper mix of fats, phytochemicals from plant based foods and a modest amount of processed foods will help your body to stay healthy and improve your mood.

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