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Foods that improve your mood
by Laurel |  Oct 23, 2013

When you're in a bad mood, it may seem like things that should perk you up - even your favorite flick or a mani/pedi - just don't help. Indulging in retail therapy or opening a bottle of wine might be tempting, but these coping mechanisms only offer temporary relief and in the long run, will ultimately bring you down even more. So instead, turn to food to boost your spirits. 

Noshing on the right things can get your body and your mind back on track. Next time you're feeling down, distracted or just plain irritable, put these items on your grocery list:

If you're blue
It's natural to feel a little depressed as winter approaches, especially with the shorter days and colder temperatures. Whether you have seasonal affective disorder or just tend to feel bummed on Sundays, reach for foods that are high in vitamin D. Nutritionist Joy Bauer told the "Today Show" that this vitamin can raise levels of serotonin, which is one of the major neurotransmitters that impacts your mood.

A bowl of low-sugar cereal with skim milk or a smoothie with fortified soy milk are both optimal snacks to beat the blues.

If you're lethargic
When you hit a slump before a meeting or in the middle of a project, protein is your solution. Protein helps to regulate how quickly carbohydrates and sugar move into the bloodstream, preventing a spike and an inevitable crash. As a result, you feel perked up and more productive for a longer period of time.

Consider nonfat Greek yogurt, eggs, poultry, fish and tofu at your next meal and you'll be able to stay focused on the task at hand. Jacob Teitelbaum, a physician and nutrition expert, explained to Woman's Day that sipping on green tea could help, too. Calming theanine will make you more alert and able to concentrate without the jitters that come with coffee. If you don't have time to brew a cup, adding a drop of pure inventions green tea extract dietary supplement will give you the antioxidant advantages of nearly 10 cups, as well as increased energy.

If you're anxious
There's a reason chocolate can help you feel happier and more at ease - and it's not just that it tastes good. Studies by the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland found that people who ate 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks reduced the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in their system.

Stick with one to two squares a day and make sure it's at least 70 percent cocoa to reap the full stress-busting benefits.

If you're PMS'ing
If you're someone that suffers serious PMS you know the drill: ​ Irritability, mood swings, sudden sadness, depression - the list goes on. According to a recent study in the journal Reproductive Health, a mix of fatty acids can greatly reduce these symptoms. You should certainly seek out foods high in omega-3s, like avocados, nuts and salmon, but sometimes it can still be hard to incorporate enough of these essential fats into your diet. Pop a david kirsch wellness one of a kind omega-3 on a daily basis and that time of the month will feel a lot more manageable. 

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