Keep Your Sunny Disposition all Winter Long with these Mood Boosting Foods
November kicks off the holiday season with Thanksgiving, but the holiday that should remind us what we’re grateful for can also cause ups and down in our moods. With the cooler temperatures, shorter days, and holiday fatigue, some people experience anything from the “winter blues” to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
To help you enjoy all of the food, family, friends, and fun activities to the fullest, here are some tips: 1) be social and don’t isolate yourself, 2) exercise; even walking around the block is good for the mood, 3) drink plenty of water as mild dehydration is a common but often overlooked cause of fatigue, 4) eat every 3-4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels steady and your energy high and 5) incorporate the following “good mood” foods into your diet. Nutrition plays a critical role in our physical and mental health. So pull yourself out of the doldrums by reaching for these uplifting foods.
Feel Relaxed and In Control
Did you know that certain foods can trigger responses in our brain that help fight depression, insomnia and anxiety?
One of the best foods for this is Turkey! What a perfect time of year for turkey, right? And, a great excuse to try our limited time Chipotle Cranberry Turkey Club Flatbread! Other foods that help us feel relaxed and in control are: spinach, eggs, pork, watercress, soybeans, bison, turnip greens, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, pineapple milk, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, bananas, and avocados.
Elevate Your Mood
Perk up by getting enough vitamin D (vitamin D deficiencies can contribute to feelings of depression). Our body produces vitamin D when we get outside for a little sunshine, but if cooler temps keep you inside, you can get your vitamin D with these foods.
Cod liver oil and all kinds of fish (mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, catfish, tuna) are high in vitamin D. Other foods that help keep our mood stable are: Yogurt, eggs, tofu, soy milk, and mushrooms. Our yogurt-based Peanut Paradise Smoothie may be just the ticket with Peanut Butter, Banana, Non-Fat Yogurt & Whey or Soy Protein.
Chill Out and Feel Content
Don’t worry, be happy, with B-complex vitamins and folic acid. They provide positive support for emotional stress and depression.
Chicken, turkey and beef are great sources for these nutrients. Tropical Smoothie Café has a wonderful variety of lean meat sandwich choices, like our Southwest Chicken Wrap. Other foods that help us chill out are: avocados, asparagus, bananas, chicken, turkey, beef, bell peppers, spinach, green peas, yams, broccoli, beets, turnip greens, peanuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, whole grains, bran, beans, lentils, fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals.
Feel Energized and Optimistic
Increasing your daily intake of magnesium is an easy way to feel more energetic, with an improved outlook on life.
Some great foods to help improve your outlook are: Almonds, amaranth, Brazil nuts, soybeans, spinach, sunflower seeds, tofu, wheat germ seeds, wheat bran, millet, seafood, legumes, wild rice, cacao (chocolate also contains a chemical naturally found in the brain that is known to brighten our mood and make us feel happier). So – from one extreme to another – either a Health Nut Smoothie or the Chocolate Chiller Smoothie should keep you and your tummy feeling good!
Feel Revived and Rejuvenated
Vitamin C is the often-overlooked granddaddy of antioxidants, and recent studies show that it has a great ability for boosting your mood. A lack of vitamin-C-rich foods also slows down your body’s ability to absorb the iron it needs to fight fatigue.
Strawberries, blueberries and oranges are a great source of vitamin C (try one of our Super Fruit Smoothies or add the Vitamin C Immune Complex supplement to any of our smoothies for 1,000 mg of vitamin C). Other rejuvenating foods are: Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, red and green peppers.
Also, did you know that carbohydrates actually help to absorb the feel-good ingredient (tryptophan) found in turkey? So those turkey sandwiches from Thanksgiving left-overs are the perfect good-mood food! Better yet, come in for a Totally Turkey wrap, Turkey Bacon Ranch bistro sandwich or any other of your favorites and let us carve you up some Tropical Smoothie goodness. Visiting Tropical Smoothie Café is always the perfect mood-booster!