Feeling blue? Does the coronavirus pandemic have you scared, stressed or sad? You’re not alone. There are things we can do to improve our quarantine mood: get more sleep, meditate, exercise — and believe it or not we can also eat our way to happiness. We’re not talking comfort food — we’re talking superfoods!
When we feed our bodies — and brains — foods high in salt, sugar and fat the “entire balance is disrupted and we start to feel sad,” Dr. Taz Bhatia, immune support and wellness physician, explains. To get things back on track she recommends these four foods for happiness:
1. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a great healthy snack choice. They have a ton of zinc and magnesium. “These two micronutrients are so important for our mood,” says Bhatia. “They help relax us.” Eating pumpkin seeds also helps us produce serotonin, the happy neurotransmitter.
2. Dark chocolate
Just the thought of dark chocolate is smile-inducing! It also contains magnesium but more importantly, it’s made with cacao, which aids in reducing stress. Dark chocolate is also loaded with antioxidants that can trigger blood vessels to relax, lower blood pressure and improve circulation.
Mushrooms are filled with B vitamins, which have a direct impact on our energy levels, brain function and cell metabolism. “B vitamins are critical to how we feel,” Bhatia explains. “They play a role in anxiety, depression … and many people don’t even realize that they’re in there.” Add this superfood to an omelet, salad or oven roast them for dinner.
Avocados also boost serotonin levels. They’re high in vitamin E and omega-9 fatty acids. “They help us with our overall cognitive function,” explains Bhatia. “Vitamin E accompanying those omega-9s also helps us with anxiety and depression.”
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.
Read more from Yahoo Life:
Want daily lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.