When the colder, darker months start rolling by, it can make a noticeable difference for some people, not just in the new chill in the air, but how it makes them feel inside, as well. A lot of people experience dips in their mood in the winter (the winter blues 😭) and there’s a lot that you can do to help lift your mood back up, such as making sure you get your vitamin D! However, diet can also play a huge role in your emotional health and, as such, there are foods that may help to boost your mood, too. We’re going to look at a few now.
Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as albacore tuna and, most famously, salmon, can be tremendously good brain foods. Not only are they known to improve cognitive function, but they have been associated with lower depression scores on tests, as well. You can cook salmon in all kinds of ways, making it a super versatile choice, too.
Put some selenium in your diet
Never heard of selenium before? That’s not all that surprising, it’s not one of the most commonly highlighted minerals when it comes to dietary needs, but it is required for brain function, and low selenium levels correlate with poorer moods, too. Selenium is in a lot of seafood, including oysters, clams, sardines, crab, and many kinds of saltwater and freshwater fish. However, it’s also very common in sunflower seeds, which can make for a super easy snack on their own or a great addition to your morning yogurt.
You might have heard that chocolate is often recommended for those who are experiencing depression, and it’s not just because it tastes great. Aside from sugar, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can release a host of feel-good compounds in the brain. However, there’s evidence that the sheer pleasure of eating chocolate, especially if you bake this brownie recipe or other similarly sumptuous desserts, might be enough to lift one’s mood alone. Hard to convince someone not to eat a delicious brownie when offered, after all.
If you’re one of those “don’t talk to me til I’ve had my coffee” types, you might already be well aware of this. Caffeine can put off the effects of naturally occurring substances like adenosine, which can make you feel more tired. This can help you put off the low-energy feeling that many associate with winter.
In the typical Western diet, fermented foods outside of yogurt, aren’t all that widely eaten, but they are getting more popular, but that is changing. Kombucha is appearing on more store shelves and people are finally coming around to why kimchi is such a popular dish in some parts of the world. Fermented are best known for their health effects of creating a healthy gut biome which, amongst other things, can increase serotonin levels, which can improve mood.
With the options above, you should be able to find at least a couple of reliable choices that can always make the day feel a bit better, getting you through those winter blues!