YMCA of Greater Erie

The holidays have passed, the novelty of the new year is wearing off and the days are still a bit dreary. For many of us, these months between the holidays and spring time bring the winter blues. Don’t wait until spring to add color to your days!  Fill your plate with a rainbow of mood-boosting foods to elevate your spirits. When you eat colorful, nutritionally uplifting foods, you can beat the seasonal blahs right at your dining room table.

  1. Eat a Rainbow – The color of food reflects which nutrients it contains, so eating an array of colorful fruits and vegetables ensures you are getting a full spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants to keep you energized and buoyant through the dark winter months.
  2. Get Enough Vitamin D – Vitamin D plays a powerful role in regulating mood and staving off season affective disorder. To keep your levels up during dark winter months, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement and consume adequate vitamin D-rich foods like eggs, mushrooms and fatty fish.
  3. Emphasize Omega-3s – Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful mood-boosters that can help relieve symptoms of depression, as well as improve heart health and combat inflammation. Eat 2 to 3 servings of cold water fish per week to keep your mood elevated through winter.
  4. Boost your Mood with B Vitamins – Vitamins B6, B12 and folate all play important roles in moderating mood, and low levels are associated with depression. Consume a diet full of these vitamin B-rich foods to keep your mood lifted and feel your best: beans, nuts, dark vegetables, fruit, fish and poultry.
  5. Indulge in Dark Chocolate– Here’s one to celebrate – cocoa improves mood and protects against depression – the higher the content of cocoa, the greater the mood boosting power.

We can’t make the mid-winter season go any faster, but we can keep our spirits high and enjoy our days while it’s here by eating healthy foods that elevate our moods and inject color into its blah days.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to the YMCA Twin Cities and The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group for contributing to this blog post.