Can you find happiness in your fridge? Yes—as long as you’re eating the right stuff. Looking for a pick-me-up? Here’s what to nosh on:
This veggie contains a trace mineral called chromium, which in addition to helping you metabolize food, also increases your brain’s levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin, helping it regulate mood. It’s even been shown to decrease symptoms of atypical depression (like overeating and sleeping excessively). You can also get chromium from grape juice and potatoes.
Cashews are full of zinc, which has been found to decrease depressive symptoms and even improve the response of antidepressants. A lack of the vitamin can lead to loss of appetite, depressive symptoms, and a weaker immune system. Roasted pumpkin seeds and pork loin are also good sources of zinc.
This fish is packed with vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”—the easiest way to get your helping of the mood-regulating vitamin is to spend about 15 minutes out in the sun a few times a week. Having trouble getting your dose during wintertime? Make sure you’re getting it from the foods you eat—in addition to salmon, milk and egg yolks are also good sources of vitamin D.
Spinach contains the mineral magnesium—something that the USDA estimates about a third of people are deficient in. It’s important to get it into your diet—magnesium plays a big role in the development of serotonin, and a deficiency can lead to depression, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue. You can also get magnesium from almonds and edamame — and also an epsom salt bath.
Reach for the chickpeas to get your helping of vitamin B6—the vitamin helps the body make serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood. A serious B6 deficiency can lead to irritability, nervousness, and depression. Other sources of the vitamin include chicken breasts and yellow fin tuna.