Tired of Feeling Blue? 10 Foods to Boost Your Mood

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Overview

The saying "you are what you eat" may have some merit when it comes to your mood. "Many people fail to realize that a majority of the chemicals that regulate our moods actually come from the nutrients in the food we eat," said Rania Batayneh, a San Francisco-based nutritionist. If your mood is not want you'd like it to be, stock up on foods that will give you a much-needed boost.

assorted nuts
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Nuts

Nuts are another great source of omega-3 fatty acids. This option works especially well for vegetarians. Spruce up oatmeal with a variety of walnuts, pecans and almonds or experience the mood-boosting benefits of nuts with a peanut butter snack bar when you're in a rush and a little flustered.

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spinach
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Spinach

Adding folic acid to your diet can increase the serotonin levels in your brain and calm your mood at the same time, said Batayneh. Cooked spinach is a good source of folic acid. When your mood is low, fix yourself a salad of spinach, lima beans and chopped root vegetables to boost your spirits and your folate intake.

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Wholegrain rye bread
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Whole Grains

Get a daily dose of selenium by incorporating more whole grains into your diet. A lack of selenium can make you anxious, irritable, hostile and depressed, Batayneh said. Opt for whole-grain breads and cereals to start your day off on the right foot and in the best state of mind.

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Bowl of homemade oatmeal porridge with banana, blueberries and almonds
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High-Protein Foods

Fill your daily diet with high-protein foods such as oats, bananas, dried dates and low-fat dairy products to jump start your new attitude. These snacking sources provide the best sources for tryptophan, said Batayneh. "Tryptophan plays an important role in regulating mood, and decreasing tryptophan can lead to increased aggression. It is not produced by our body naturally, so it's critical that we get it from our diet."

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Nutritious fruit and vegetables organic for healthy
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Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Eating healthy tastes good and helps you feel better. Toss out those sugar-packed treats and stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. "Sugar spikes and drops your blood sugar, leaving you feeling cranky and moody," said Elika Kormeili, founder of the Center for Healthy and Happy Living in Santa Monica, California. "Changing your diet can be difficult, but you have to be able to tolerate temptations."

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Carrot with apple on white board
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Fiber-Rich Foods

Kormeili recommends attacking that bad mood with fiber. Foods rich in soluble fiber, such as barley, apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots and beans can drastically boost your mood and spruce up your good cheer. "They slow down the absorption of sugar in your blood and therefore potentially lessen blood sugar and mood swings," said Kormeili.

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Pumkin seeds inside of wooden spoon
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Pumpkin Seeds

You don't have to wait for the fall season to break out the pumpkin seeds. High in tryptophan and zinc, pumpkin seeds are calming and offer a great snack to help balance blood sugar during any season, said Trudy Scott, nutritionist and author of "The Antianxiety Food Solution" based in Folsom, California. Spice up the seeds and your taste buds by baking them with sea salt, turmeric, ginger and pepper.

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Omelet with vegetables and cheese. Frittata
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Eggs

Start your day off with a homemade breakfast that will boost your mood and your energy level. "Eggs have amino acids for making feel-good chemicals like serotonin," said Scott. "They are great for breakfast and getting a good start to the day to prevent blood sugar swings." So whip up an omelet, boil an egg for a midday snack or scramble eggs with your favorite veggies and feel the mood-boosting effects.

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