From time to time we all feel a little blue. Sadly, depression and black clouds looming overhead are just part of life.
We’ve all had days where we’d rather curl up in bed with a blanket pulled over our head. And bad moods can be bad news for your waistline. Why? Because the majority of us think happiness can be found in a pint of ice cream or a bag of chips.
Sure, the high fat, high calorie combination will soothe your soul for a time. But in the long run you’re only going to feel worse. Perhaps you’ll feel guilty for binge eating. Or maybe you’ll feel sick because you loaded up on sugar and unhealthy fats.
Either way, you’re not going to want to get up burn calories when your trunk is stuffed with junk. And you’re never going to lose weight without moving!
Luckily, there are some healthy foods that will help turn that frown upside down.
Here are five true comfort foods to help improve your mood.
The same chemical that makes a tomato red can also help chase your blues away. It’s called lycopene — an antioxidant that doubles as an antidepressant.
Researchers in Japan found that people who eat tomatoes every day are 52% less likely to suffer from depression. And if a tomato a day is too much for you… no problem! People who eat just two or more tomatoes each week lower their risk of depression by 46%.
You probably know asparagus makes your pee smell funny. But did you know it is also a great mood booster?
Each spear contains high levels of folate, a B vitamin that picks you up and makes you feel good.
It’s also high in L-Tryptophan… the same amino acid found in turkey that makes you super sleepy at Thanksgiving.
Haters are gonna hate, but is there anything this little leaf can’t do?
Like asparagus, kale is chock-full of folate. It’s also loaded with iron and vitamin B6 which help the brain produce happy chemicals serotonin and dopamine.
Plus, kale has tons of omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). That’s important because it can help lower the risk of depression.
High in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is perfect for slammin’ depression.
One study finds 60 percent of people who consume E-EPA — a specific omega-3 — experience significantly fewer symptoms of depression. Interestingly, the people taking part in the study also take antidepressant medication.
E-EPA can also help lessen feelings of guilt and battle insomnia.
No wonder Bugs Bunny is always happy. The abundance of beta-carotene found in carrots has him singing merry melodies.
Researchers say the antioxidant can help lower levels of depression by laying the smack down on free radicals. Those pesky free radicals are super destructive and the brain is susceptible to the damage they cause.
If you won’t be snacking with Bugs, you can also find beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, peaches, broccoli, pumpkin and spinach.