Spring showers don’t just bring spring flowers. Rainy days can be draining and dreary, leaving you reaching for ways to boost your mood. Yes, we’re getting more vitamin D, which can be a big mood booster, but what about what you’re putting in your body? Seasonal eating isn’t just good for the planet—it’s good for our bodies, and can help boost your mood when transitioning to spring. Let’s take a look at 5 foods you can add to your meal plan this week for a mood-booster.
Salmon is packed with brain-protecting Omega 3 fatty acids. Low omega 3 fats have been linked to increased risk of depression—and the majority of people are lacking these great fats in their diets. Aim to have salmon at least a couple times a week. Salmon is very low in mercury so can be eaten more often than some other fish.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats and plant-based protein to keep blood sugars stable during the day. Also, they’re a great source of zinc, selenium, and magnesium, all of which most people are lacking in their diets. And wouldn’t you know it, lack of selenium and zinc have been linked to low moods. Include a serving a day of nuts and or seeds into your meal plan to boost your mood.
Superfood? Super YES! Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants, some of which have brain health benefits and help boost your mood. They are also packed full of fiber and are a low sugar alternative to a dessert when sweet cravings come in. Also, they’re known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which we know can be the root of a lot of health issues.
Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are full of good bacteria to keep your gut healthy. Serotonin is our bodies’ mood booster and the majority of that is made in our gut. We need a healthy gut to produce this happy hormone. Incorporate a couple of these foods in your diet a week.
The bonus food everyone wants on the list. The key is DARK chocolate and preferably over 80% cocoa. This is packed with polyphenols and compounds that stimulate endorphins, the same compounds that are released after you exercise or laugh. Talk about a way to boost your mood!
Bobbi Horner, RDN, LD, has extensive experience in all different areas of dietetics, from hospital settings and wellness/athletics settings to functional medicine clinics. She’s also a member of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, which helps her understands the relationship between nourishing your body without being restrictive. Bobbi will be a phenomenal resource to help patients who may need an extra layer of support when it comes to nutrition.