by Laura Seldon for GalTime.com
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It may be dark and cold outside, but that doesn't mean your mood can't be bright and warm. If you’re feeling beat down by winter’s dreary days and long nights, never fear! You can beat those winter blues by eating lots of greens -- and plenty of other foods in a vast array of colors. Here are ten yummy ways to boost your mind and stay positive through the end of winter’s coldest days.
1. Never Bean Better: Vegetarian Baked Beans
With their rich and complex flavor, vegetarian baked beans are a delicious way to boost your mood when the temperature drops. But why are they especially good for your mood in winter? Because they are full of magnesium.
“Magnesium helps your body cope with mood swings,” says Dr. Jacquie Lavin, Head of Nutrition and Research at Slimming World in the United Kingdom. “The best sources of magnesium include vegetarian baked beans, kidney beans and lentils.”
2. Get the Whole (Wheat) Picture: Whole Wheat Fettuccine
When you’re feeling dragged down by winter’s cold grasp, add a bowl of whole wheat fettuccine to your diet. Yes, carbs may be your enemy, but perhaps you should consider making them your friend – or, at the very least, your frenemy!
“I have been stressing for a long time that carbohydrates are not the enemy,” says health and wellness expert Diana Le Dean. “If eaten in the right portion, they don’t contribute to weight gain. In fact, they lift your mood and promote the production of serotonin which is the feel-good hormone.”
3. Go Fish: Salmon
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From vitamin A to zinc, you could spell out the alphabet with the many nutrients found in oily fish (such as salmon, trout, swordfish and tuna). Take a bite and put a pep in your step.
“Foods rich in zinc, such as oily fish, can increase serotonin levels; a mood-boosting hormone,” says Megan Ware, RD, and CEO of Nutrition Awareness. Added benefit: salmon is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which are said to decrease the risk of stroke.
4. Give Your Diet the Green Light: Leafy Green Veggies
There’s nothing like some greens to cure the winter blues. Kale, spinach and collard greens are all great foods to boost your mood and lift your spirits.
“Greens are the number one missing food from the American diet,” says Lindsey Smith, health coach and author of Junk Foods & Junk Moods. “These are foods that will enhance your mood and make you feel good.”
5. Be a Health Nut : Walnuts
Here’s a nutty way to stop the February chill from driving you nuts: eat a handful of walnuts for your afternoon snack.