We’ve made it halfway through the week. Thank goodness! This new semester is hitting me full force. Every day is at least a 12 hour day between classes, work, homework, etc, etc. Carley Kocks can vouch for the fact that I can hardly keep my eyes open past 9pm! Grandma status at its finest! The worst part of being so busy, besides being tired, would have to be the fact that I have to pack food for the entire day. I am talking 3 meals plus snacks. I need a bigger lunch box!
An article I read recently discussed how different nutrients can have mood boosting effects. How fitting for how hectic life is right now! I need to make sure I pack some of these to nosh on between classes.
10 Mood Boosting Nutrients
(Each nutrient is followed by a brief explanation of its mood boosting effects and the sources of the nutrients are stated in parenthesis)
- Calcium: Regulates mood fluctuations related to PMS (collard greens, ricotta cheese, yogurt, milk, kale)
- Chromium: Works with brain’s mood regulators to increase serotonin (“happiness hormone”), norepinephrine (influences reward system), and melatonin (treats mood disorders where circadian disturbances (broccoli, grape juice, whole-wheat bread, potatoes, turkey)
- Folate: Support serotonin regulation and boost efficiency of antidepressants (spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus, avocado)
- Iron: Reduces fatigue, apathy and mood change related to iron deficiency which can result in depression (oatmeal, soybeans, lentils, dark turkey meat)
- Magnesium: Contributes to serotonin development, emotion regulation and a balanced mood (almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, edamame)
- Omega-3’s: This nutrient is 18% of the brain’s weight and helps keep the overall health and functioning of it in tip top shape, resulting in lower risk of depression and suicide (salmon, broccoli, chia seeds, spinach, heering)
- Vitamin B6: Regulates brain functioning by helping produce neurotransmitters (these send messages from the brain to the rest of the body) which regulate healthy moods and treat PMS related depression (chickpeas, yellowfin tuna, salmon, breakfast cereals, chicken breast)
- Vitamin B12: This nutrient helps create red blood cells and nerves which will help the brain send out signals to the rest of the body, helping to regulate depression (Rainbow trout, salmon, swiss & mozzarella cheese, tuna)
- Vitamin D: In the wintertime, when there is less sunlight, depression symptoms may be due to the low consumption of vitamin D. Increasing consumption can help regulate mood and ward off depression (salmon, swordfish, mushrooms, milk)
- Zinc: Zinc can decrease depressive symptoms and improve antidepressant medication (pumpkin seeds, cashews, crab, pork loin, swiss cheese)
Which nutrient will you try to incorporate to boost your mood?
You can whip up this recipe for Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt dip to get a few different nutrients listed! (Talk about multitasking)
Ps. This is a copy-cat version of the Trader Joe’s brand dip. Which is to DIE for. (Gratefuly provided to us by our friends over at How Sweet It is!)
Spinach And Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
1 (17-ounce) container of 2% Greek yogurt (or about 2 cups of your favorite)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup finely chopped kale
1 cup finely chopped spinach
3 thin green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
if desired, chopped water chestnuts and chopped marinated artichoke hearts
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. The key is to chop everything as finely as possible! This dip is extra flavorful after it sits for a few hours (refrigerated of course). Taste and season more if desired. Serve with chips, crackers or vegetables.