3 Natural Ways to Lighten Your Mood

3 Natural Ways to Lighten Your Mood Deborah EnosIf someone told you that you could lose weight AND feel great by eating more junk food, you wouldn’t believe them, would you? Of course not. You’re smarter than that. So, you won’t be surprised to hear about the March 2012 Public Health Nutrition study that found that people who ate junk food were a whopping 51% more likely to show signs of depression. And those who ate more junk food were even more likely to be depressed.

Now, think about all of those times you used junk food as “comfort.” You’re not alone there, either.

Another study, published in a January 2012 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who experience work “burn out” are more likely to engage in emotionally-charged and uncontrolled eating. Comfort food might be making you feel worse instead of better.

Let’s end the viscous cycle. Instead of draining your happiness with junk food, consider adopting these mood-boosting habits:

1. “B” a good eater – A 2007 Psychology Today article has shown that foods rich in B vitamins may keep depression and other mental problems at bay. Get more B vitamins in your diet by eating more spinach, fish, beans and lean poultry.

2. Have some chocolate! – I know what you’re thinking, but chocolate isn’t necessarily junk food. The darker the chocolate, the more phenylethylamines it contains, and phenylethylamines have been shown to have a stimulating effect on the brain.

3. Let the sun shine in – A 2011 May Clinic Proceedings study has associated higher blood levels of vitamin D with a reduced depression risk. The body produces vitamin D from exposure to the sun’s UV rays, so you can boost your mood and vitamin D levels by spending some more time outside. If that’s not an option, there are always vitamin D supplements.

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