Sure, the dreary winter days and cold temps could have you craving certain foods, but some are better for you than others.
Imelda Miller of Romulus has a go-to dish these days.
“Some hot chili with sour cream and green onions,” she said with a smile.
Dwayne Coleman of Southfield said, “Pizza is always my go-to cheat.”
Renee Jacobs of Southfield is also a fan of pizza, but she also has a favorite sweet treat, “Ooo, anything chocolate,” she said.
But if you really want to lift your spirits, Holistic health coach Jaclyn Renee says there are seven foods that can boost your mood.
1. BRAZIL NUTS
“Brazil nuts contain selenium, which is really great for reducing stress and inflammation in the body. It’s an antioxidant,” said Renee.
And a little goes a long way when it comes to Brazil nuts. A serving size is only one-to-two nuts a day.
2. WILD-CAUGHT SALMON
“It’s really high in Omegas [fatty acids] – our Omega-3s, 6s, and 12s. Those are best for brain health and cognitive function. So, [it’s] really great for boosting your mood…less brain fog. You hear people talk about brain fog all the time. Fish is great for combating that [and helping with] good cognitive health,” Renee explained.
3. PUMPKIN SEEDS OR PEPITAS
“They’re really rich in potassium – good for reducing stress, great for the body. I love to have a handful of those a day,” said Renee.
She said pepitas are also a wonderful source of zinc which supports healthy progesterone production. They’re also are high in vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant that helps repair damaged cells.
You can sprinkle them on salads or eat them as a snack.
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years – and it’s long been touted as a beneficial nutritional supplement.
“The active ingredient in turmeric is cucumin. So, this is really great for reducing inflammation,” said Renee.
It’s also a very strong antioxidant. She recommends you buy it raw or ground in powder form.
Renee loves to use it in turmeric lattes – a.k.a. “Golden Milk.”
Turmeric Latte (a.k.a. Golden Milk) Recipe:
- 1 cup of Organic Coconut Milk (canned)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp ginger (large chunk)
- 1 tsp turmeric (powder)
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Serve warm in your favorite mug.
“It’s clean and Whole 30 approved. It contains no caffeine,” said Renee.
I tried it, and it was delicious!
5. GROUND TURKEY
Her fifth mood boosting food is organic ground turkey.
“Not any lean meat,” said Renee. “It’s specifically ground turkey because it has the amino acid tryptophan in it.”
The body changes tryptophan into a brain chemical called serotonin which helps control mood and improve sleep. Who doesn’t want a little help winding down and getting some good shut-eye?!
Jaclyn Renee’s personal favorite of the 7 mood boosting foods is the mango.
She likes to buy mango in the frozen food section. She likes to eat the cubed pieces semi-thawed as a sweet treat after dinner before she goes to bed.
“Mango has two very important vitamins. One is vitamin B – which is great for energy and boosting mood. But it also has bioactive magnesium. So, a lot of people take magnesium before bed to calm their body and their brain,” she explained.
7. SWISS CHARD
The beautiful large green leaves and juicy stalks are a good source of vitamins A, B and C.
“[Swiss chard] has many benefits. Specifically, just like mango, it has magnesium, which is very calming for the central nervous system. You can have it with dinner. But it’s also very good for digestion because we have that good fiber going on,” said Renee.
It also is an excellent source of potassium, calcium and minerals that help maintain good blood pressure range.
Bottom line, Jaclyn Renee said you don’t have to get every one of these healthy foods into your diet in one day.
She tries to eat all seven over the course of a week.
If that seems like too much for you, she suggests you try to incorporate two or three of them into your weekly diet. Then see if you can add a few more over time.
“That’s a great start,” said Renee.