Let’s face it, 2020 is just not the year we thought it was going
to be. COVID19 has caused us all to cancel so many of our exciting plans,
which has us feeling blue- or even a bit blah! We may be stressing over
the foods we are eating, stressing over the possible weight we might be
gaining and stressing over if things will ever get back to normal. With
so much negativity, we all need a positive boost.
Luckily, research has found that getting the right nutrients in your diet
over time can improve your mood, tame stress, ease anxiety and even help
fight depression. Now, we are talking! Here are 4 foods that you can keep
in your kitchen to help boost that mood:
Experts believe the cocoa flavonoids in dark chocolate can reduce levels
of stress hormones. One study found that eating an ounce and a half of
dark chocolate daily for two weeks reduced feelings
of stress. Pro Tip: Enjoy a piece of at least 70% dark chocolate as an
after dinner treat. Or, try mixing unsweetened cocoa powder into plain
Greek yogurt creating a dip for berries.
Fruits and Veggies
One study has found that eating more fruits and veggies increased overall
mental well-being. The magic amount needed to boost your mood: 7 cups/day.
Now, you may be able to experience improvements at lower amounts, but
for best results 7 cups of produce per day should be your goal. Pro Tip:
aim to eat produce at every meal.
Regularly eating fish high in omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, herring
tuna & sardines) may help reduce anxiety. Our bodies are not able
to produce Omega 3’s so we need to add them to our diet. In this
study participants who had omega-3’s before an exam reduced their
anxiety symptoms by as much as 20%.
Turmeric may act as a natural antidepressant thanks to an active compound
called curcumin. Curcumin helps increase levels of serotonin, the happy
hormone. Pro Tip: Always add a pinch of black pepper when using turmeric
to increase its absorption by 2000%.