9 Foods to Boost Your Mood All Winter


The upcoming winter months don't just gift us with waaaay-shorter days and a conspicuous lack of sunshine. It heralds the beginning of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as "Why Me?," "Not Again," and, occasionally, "Sit On My Couch in a Snuggie Watching Netflix" Season.

Less daylight and colder temps can make us all feel funky, official SAD diagnosis or no. But while scientists haven't found a way to make it summer all year round (although, um, maybe climate change is working on it), you can keep your mood from freezing over altogether.

Here's what you need to be noshing on from now until springtime.


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  • Cottage Cheese

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    Cottage cheese is rich in tryptophan, which helps your body produce serotonin, aka "the Happy Hormone."

  • Bananas

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    Not only do they come in their very own wrapper, but bananas are also packed with potassium, which gets depleted when you're feeling stressed.

  • Whole Wheat Crackers

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    Again with the tryptophan! Most whole grains are chock-full of it, which means less anxiety and depression for you. Plus, people who eat them are more likely to eat OTHER healthy foods and exercise, which has to help your mood, too.

    More from CafeMom: The Truth Behind Seasonal Depression: How Do You Know If You Have It?

  • Turkey

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    Turkey's another good choice for tryptophan, which pushes your brain to make more serotonin. A bonus: It can also help you get a better night's sleep.

  • Eggs

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    The omega-3 kind, that is. If you're low on these fatty acids, studies show that your mood will take a dive while impulsive behavior will increase.

  • Beans

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    Lentils, chickpeas, heirloom pintos ... they're all good when it comes to loading you up with folate and zinc, two supplements known to combat depression. If you're a vegetarian, take note: Your zinc stores are probably low already.

    More from CafeMom: Seasonal Affect Disorder: How to Lift Yourself Out of the Winter Blues

  • Peanut Butter

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    Women typically have low amounts of magnesium, which shores up your mood and ensures that you have plenty of energy. Peanut butter's rich in magnesium, but you can also get it from such foods as avocados, spinach, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

  • Oatmeal

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    Oatmeal -- and we mean the real stuff, not the sugar bombs that come in little packets -- is high in fiber. That keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day and help you avoid any nasty mood swings.

  • Salmon

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    EPA is a type of omega-3 that's been shown to give your mood a boost. Mackerel contains the most, followed by herring, tuna, sardines, anchovies, salmon, and trout.

    Try to fit two servings into your diet per week. (But no more than three servings per month of tuna because of that whole mercury thing.)

    More from CafeMom: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Seasonal Affect Disorder

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