The Best Get-Happy Foods
Fight stress and depression with five nutrient-buffed snacks
Sorry, ice cream isn't on the list! But the following foods do have nutrients that can help fight stress and depression, says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Eat Your Way to Happiness.
Food: Oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits
Mood-Boosting Ingredient: Vitamin C
This vitamin helps you cope better in stressful times by lowering your levels of stress hormones. If you get a lot regularly, you'll feel calmer during tough situations.
Mood-Boosting Ingredients: Vitamin E, arginine (an amino acid) and magnesium
A handful of nuts will keep you full and satisfied because they have a low glycemic index-which means they don't jack up your blood sugar levels and cause mood swings. It also makes you feel good to eat something that seems decadent (they're considered a little bit naughty because they're high in fat) but actually has health benefits.
Food: Leafy greens
Mood-Boosting Ingredient: Folic Acid
Research has shown that the folic acid in leafy greens such as kale and spinach can reduce depression and even improve blood flow to the brain. If you're not eating at least one serving per day you're more than likely low in folic acid, so try getting more or consider taking a multivitamin that contains it.
Mood-Boosting Ingredient: DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid)
The omega-3s in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines have been found to improve your mood while lowering the risk of depression and age-related memory loss. The depression link is so strong that American Psychiatric Association suggests that anyone taking antidepressants and/or going through therapy also boost her intake of omega 3s.
Food: Dried cherries
Mood-Boosting Ingredients: Potassium, magnesium and vitamin C
These nutrients all work to curb your body's stress response. Dried cherries also keep your brain healthy because they're packed with antioxidants (including vitamin C), which prevent damage to your brain cells that can lead to memory problems.
candy didn't make the list? it always makes me happy.