Mood Boosting Foods to Try Over the Holidays

The holidays can be tough on both your waistline, and your mental health.

Even though the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, it can be a very difficult time, as well. For people who don’t have great relationships with family, it can be tough. For people who have lost family members, it can be painful.

No matter how you slice it, the holidays can be a time of emotional turmoil, so being kind with yourself and taking inventory of your mood is especially important.

Since the holidays are all about food, you should also be mindful of what you are eating. Trying to balance out healthy and unhealthy meals, and stay active are two great ways to boost your mood, but you can also focus on eating mood-boosting foods to keep your mental health in check.

Try to add the following into your holiday diet, to see an increase in your overall happiness.

Omega-3s- While eating salmon or sardines for Christmas dinner probably isn’t appealing to you, carrying around a bag of walnuts for snacking would also work.

Probiotics– Obviously probiotics are great for your digestive and immune system, research suggests they can also help lessen depression. Yogurt and buttermilk should both be easy enough to work into your holiday diet.

READ MORE: How to Reduce Holiday Weight Gain

Whole Grains- B vitamins are essential to keep your mood in check, and can actually keep you full during the day, which will help curtail any excessive weight gains. Steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and wild rice should be easy enough to come by.

Leafy Greens and folate-rich veggies- Folate has been found to lessen symptoms of depression, so vegetables like spinach, artichokes, edamame, avocado, and broccoli can help elevate your mood.

Moderate caffeine- As you probably know, a little caffeine can be a mood booster. Too much caffeine can ruin your day. Ideally, you should only ingest 1.75 cups of coffee per day to keep your mood in the green. Chai tea will also work, if you aren’t a coffee drinker.

Vitamin D- While the sun is a great place to get some Vitamin D, it isn’t always feasible during the winter months. Foods like cheese, egg yolks, and fortified soymilk are great sources as well.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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