4 Mood Foods that May Surprise You

Have you been feeling a little “off” lately? Or maybe you’re feeling more like the weather – hot one day, frigid the next?

The common link in these foods seems to be certain vitamin combinations as well tryptophan (you know, like in turkey). Try incorporating these foods into your diet to get the energy you need, according to Care2.com.

Bananas – One my favorite fruits, bananas. I eat one a day, instead of an apple since it’s packed full of potassium, iron, protein and vitamins A, C (surprise),  B6 and a good source of carbohydrates (I never knew!) I often have problems with circulation – like muscle spasms in my legs and feet – and bananas help curb those untimely muscle aches.

These yellow tree fruits are a great energy boost as well, so eat one at breakfast or use in your yogurt smoothie after lunch, when you start feeling the afternoon slump. Need an extra boost to get through the night shift? Pack a couple bananas. We are fortunate enough to have bananas available all year long in the US.

Got a few bananas looking a little brown? Mash them up and use in muffins, pancakes, waffles or banana bread too. Dr. Oz has a yummy tasting energy smoothie that uses bananas too.

Eggs are great energy boosters.

Eggs – Really, eggs? Yes, eggs are chocked full of protein, Omega-3s (free range chickens are best), B12 as well as B2, B5 and vitamin D. Another good source for tryptophan and improving your mood.

Hard boil a few eggs to pack in your lunch for the week or use as a snack mid-day. The lean protein in eggs helps convert tryptophan into the mood-enhancing serotonin, which may give you that extra energy without reaching for a candy bar or another cup of coffee. Eggs are also good for improving your memory (I have short-term memory problems, so I try to eat eggs a few times a week) and depression. (Wow!)

Look for free-range eggs in the grocery or buy from a local farmer or the farm house with the “Eggs for Sale” sign. These eggs will more likely have the most Omega-3s that you’ll need to boost your mood. If you can’t stomach an entire hard-boiled egg, cut it up and make egg-salad sandwiches or add to a salad. Fried egg sandwiches with mustard are another favorite of mine. Be creative!

Sunflower seeds – A handful of sunflower seeds can boost your mood because it has mood-enhancing magnesium. According to Care2.com, a lack of magnesium can be responsible for “feelings of fatigue, nervousness, and anxiety (since it triggers an increase in adrenaline).” In addition to magnesium, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid) that may help alleviate irritability, insomnia, and depression symptoms. (Note: a deficiency in folate may result in these feelings.) Sunflower seeds also contain the mood booster, tryptophan.

Sunflower seeds give an energy boost when you need it, but it doesn’t make up for your daily rest. Be sure to get a good 7 hours of rest each day in addition to a healthy diet that includes good protein and vitamins. Sunflower seeds help with your daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals.

Walnuts – Go nutty with walnuts! These nut meats contain all the best mood and energy boosters including vitamin B6, folate, protein, Omega-3s and tryptophan! Seems that a handful of walnuts are good for improving your mood and alleviate negative feelings.

Whether you like cracking your own walnuts or prefer to buy them shelled, you’ll get the same benefits of getting the recommended dose of Omega-3 oil in less than an ounce of walnuts, which is about 7 shelled walnuts.

Grab a bag of trail mix or make your own for your next road trip, business meeting (those things usually put me to sleep within the first hour), add to brownies, waffles, muffins, top cereals and mix in yogurt. (Beware of nut allergies)

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