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With all the upheaval in the country right now, perhaps you are feeling a bit blue. That is certainly understandable, but did you know that the types of foods you consume have a lot to do with how you feel emotionally? Your emotional often affects your physical health, so it is worthwhile to do everything you can to keep your spirits up. It is not surprising that The Centers for Disease Control and prevention reports that anti-depressant pharmaceuticals are among the top three prescribed drugs. Although many people benefit from these drugs, there are a number of foods that might also be beneficial  for your well-being. Eat the right foods and cheer up!

Beans, seeds, nuts and whole grains are rich in zinc, which has been shown to help people with mood disorders, particularly those who suffer from depression. Bonus: The same foods also help with learning and memory.

Avocado, oranges, spinach, and asparagus contain high levels of folate and folic acid. Folate helps regulate serotonin, which contributes to feelings of well-being. Bonus: Folic acid, taken daily, helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is known to release endorphins, which are chemicals produced by the nervous system that help with stress and anxiety. Hershey Bar anyone? Yes, please. Bonus: Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and has been proven to help blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Green Tea is well known to help with heart health, but it also helps keep people calm if you consume it on a regular basis. Several studies reveal that green tea reduces symptoms of depression. Bonus: Compounds in green tea help sharpen brain function and thinking.

Sweet potatoes are very specific in their mood-enhancing capabilities. Rich in B vitamins (especially B6) and other antioxidants, sweet potatoes have been proven to help lift people up who may be suffering from depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia.  Bonus: Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, and that’s good for everybody.

These are just a sampling of dozens of foods that help lift our spirits, reduce tension and anxiety and neutralize symptoms of depression. Others include almonds, bananas, salmon, bell peppers, sardines, eggs, turkey, dark leafy greens, and the list goes on. Eat well for health and happiness.


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