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Walnut Creek Magazine

Eat these foods to beat the winter blues

With the days shorter and darker, seasonal moodiness (and even depression) can set in, but certified health coach and co-founder of the Cooking Project Sasha Bernstein shows us how to keep the light on - with our food. "Adding any of these ingredients to a Buddha bowl or smoothie can help lighten the mood," Bernstein says. These mood-boosting foods can help you feel better and fight off seasonal affective disorder.

Avocado. "The fat in avocados helps us absorb other plant nutrients, including vitamins and antioxidants - nutrients we wouldn't otherwise get."

Orange and citrus. Winter is citrus season. Besides being loaded with Vitamin C, oranges offer potassium which helps relieve anxiety and stress.

Cinnamon. With antioxidants galore, cinnamon helps you feel younger, stronger, and healthier. Plus, it acts as a natural sugarless sweetener.

Ginger. This root is a natural stomach settler and can also be used as a pain reliever—proven to be as effective as ibuprofen, especially for menstrual pain.

Yogurt. The bacteria in yogurt (probiotics) helps the gut and immune system, which can combat anxiety, improve metabolism and lead to a better mood. 

Turmeric. This spicy root contains anti-inflammatory properties that can lower blood sugar and help keep mood and energy stable.

Frozen pineapple. For a treat, try tryptophan-loaded pineapple, shown to correlate with increased levels of serotonin and lower incidents of mood disorders. It also promotes better sleep.

Spearmint. Besides the pleasant flavor, spearmint offers a natural boost to fight fatigue.

Spinach and kale. These leafy greens are high in folic acid. If you're falling short of folic acid, it can lead to anemia. To avoid sluggishness and worse, get your greens on."

Chocolate. Dark chocolate, in particular, can help reduce anxiety and boost your mood naturally.

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