9 Mood-Boosting Foods

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark greens such as spinach, kale and turnip greens are naturally high in chlorophyll, which is critical in helping plants convert sunlight into energy. That same pigment helps the human body deliver oxygen to your cells, and aids energy levels. Try a mixed green salad for your midday meal.

More: What Are the Best Leafy Greens?

Oatmeal

Next time you want a cookie or pastry, instead try oatmeal. The complex carbohydrates stimulate the production of serotonin that creates a feeling of wellbeing. While sugar-laden pastries will temporarily give you a rush, there's the eventual crash. The fiber in oatmeal will stabilize your blood sugar, increase blood flow and help you stay full.

Milk

Mom knew best when she suggested a glass of milk with meals. This calcium-rich drink is rich in tryptophan, an ingredient needed for the production of the mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. Recent research shows a daily glass of milk has calming effects and the ability to improve memory.

More: 7 Healthy Milk Alternatives

Black Beans

Besides being a whole grain, beans feature vitamin B12 and folic acid. These nutrients help prevent disorders of the central nervous system and dementia, according to scientists. An added benefit of black beans is that they can also ward off heart disease, making them good for both the brain and heart.

Sweet Potatoes

Replace your white potato consumption with sweet potatoes. The orange hue in these tubers is due to carotenoids, the main source in the production of vitamin A and antioxidants. Vitamin A is especially important because it creates mood-regulating transmitters, like dopamine, which keep your mind stable. Avoid sweet potato recipes that call for large amounts sugar or marshmallow.

More: Santa Fe Sweet Potato Recipe

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