LIFT YOUR SPIR­ITS with de­li­cious mood boost­ers

Th­ese tasty treats ban­ish late-win­ter blahs

First For Women - - Contents -

Eggs in­crease acetyl­choline pro­duc­tion

Eggs are loaded with vi­ta­min B12 and choline— a tough-to-get nutri­ent duo that sig­nals the brain to make more of the mood-steady­ing, fo­cus-en­hanc­ing neu­ro­trans­mit­ter acetyl­choline. No won­der sci­en­tists at the Univer­sity of Con­necti­cut in Storrs found that when women en­joy two eggs daily, they see a no­tice­able uptick in mem­ory, fo­cus, concentration and hap­pi­ness scores in as lit­tle as 10 days.

Berries boost sero­tonin lev­els

They’re na­ture’s num­ber one source of nu­tri­ents that gen­tly prod brain neu­rons to re­lease more mood-el­e­vat­ing sero­tonin. En­joy 1 cup of your fa­vorite berries (fresh or frozen) daily and sci­en­tists at Stan­ford Univer­sity say you could feel 45 per­cent hap­pier and calmer in 4 days. And there’s more good news if you love berry pies or com­potes: Heat­ing berries causes their cell mem­branes to break down, an ef­fect that dou­bles your body’s ab­sorp­tion of an­tho­cyanins.

an­tho­cyanins—

Toma­toes quiet the amyg­dala

The more toma­toes you eat, the calmer you’ll feel—and dig­ging into them daily can boost hap­pi­ness by 28 per­cent in a week. That’s be­cause ly­copene, the pig­ment that gives toma­toes their pretty red hue, calms the amyg­dala—the brain’s anx­i­ety cen­ter, say Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia sci­en­tists. Hint: Opt for cooked toma­toes as of­ten as pos­si­ble since the body ab­sorbs 4 times more ly­copene from cooked toma­toes than from raw.

Av­o­ca­dos steady blood sugar

The mo­noun­sat­u­rated fatty acids in th­ese gems slow carb ab­sorp­tion in the in­testines, say UCLA re­searchers. And adding as lit­tle as one-quar­ter of an av­o­cado to a meal can cut your risk of blood-sugar dips—and the blue moods and anx­i­ety they trig­ger— in half for up to 4 hours.

Sal­mon soothes over­worked adrenals

Eat­ing one 6 oz. serv­ing of sal­mon weekly cuts your risk of win­ter blues by 24 per­cent—and three weekly serv­ings will dou­ble all-day hap­pi­ness scores, say Fin­nish re­searchers. The rea­son? Sal­mon is rich in DHA (do­cosa­hex­aenoic acid)—an omega-3 fat that calms the adrenal glands, tamp­ing down the pro­duc­tion of mood-sap­ping cor­ti­sol.

Greek yo­gurt speeds dopamine re­lease

You can chase away the grump­ies— and cut your risk of blue moods by up to 33 per­cent—by adding 1 cup of plain full-fat Greek yo­gurt to your daily diet. British sci­en­tists credit the treat’s L-ty­ro­sine (an amino acid) and

con­ju­gated linoleic acid (a healthy fat), which work to­gether to in­crease the brain’s pro­duc­tion of the an­tide­pres­sant hor­mone dopamine.

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