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5 mood-boosting foods

When people feel depressed, they often reach for comfort foods, but researchers say fat- and carb-heavy foods may not be the best option. Below are five foods that experts frequently recommend to help combat the symptoms of lethargy, mood swings and cravings that are often associated with depression. As a bonus, they have well-known overall health benefits as well.

1. Eggs – with yolk. The protein provided by eggs helps stabilize blood sugar and the yolks contain B vitamins, which are proven to lessen the severity of depression’s symptoms.

2. Cold water fish. Tuna, wild salmon and mackerel all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health.

3. Nuts and seeds. Walnuts offer high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health. Other nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts and almonds are also beneficial because they contain magnesium. This nutrient has been shown to boost levels of serotonin, the “feel-good” brain chemical.

4. Grains. High-fiber whole grains like whole wheat pasta and bread, oatmeal and sweet potatoes help your body release serotonin.

5. Low-fat dairy. Not only are low-fat cheese, milk and yogurt good for your bones, the calcium and vitamin D found in these foods contain peptides which promote feelings of well-being and relaxation.

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