By Irene Matlzan

Winter can bring some blues especially if you don’t get outside. Food and mood connections are important to be aware of. The saying “you are what you eat” has some scientific proof to it. To help boost mood in the winter here are 8 top foods that may help bust the winter blues.

  1. Green vegetables – Asparagus, spinach, broccoli and other greens help raise serotonin. Each one contains unique vitamins and minerals to raise your spirits. Try at least 3 cups of green veggies a day and see your mood improve.
  1. Avocado: The monounsaturated fats in avocados apparently help lower blood pressure, keeping your mood calm and balanced.
  2. Vitamin D Foods – Many dairy products contain Vitamin D, which is thought to boost serotonin and help with seasonal mood disorders. Mushrooms are one of the few foods that contain Vitamin D as well. If you prefer non dairy milks many of them are Vitamin D fortified as well.
  3. Fish: Fatty fish like salmon contains a high level of Omega 3’s which is thought to lower symptoms of depression. Try sardines or herring which are also high in Omega 3’s.
  4. Green Tea: Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid some say improves mood while reducing stress. Also sipping it is soothing.
  5. Almonds and Walnuts: Many nuts have been shown to decrease dopamine levels in the brain, leading to a calm, balanced feeling.
  6. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is said to have positive effects on brain endorphins, resulting in a feeling of comfort and balance. How about almonds and chocolate together for a mood-powerhouse?
  7. Good Carbohydrates: Complex carbs and whole grains like oats or quinoa are said to generate serotonin which helps balance your mood and satisfies your hunger.

Try eating some or all of these every day and see your spirits rise. Also remember to exercise and get lots of rest. Also avoid sugar and alcohol which act as depressants.