Other

Snacks to Boost Your Mood


You know those times when you’re hungry during an intense chemistry study session? Or when you’re on a three hour car ride back home and need some energy to stay awake? Or when you’re just stressed out and want something not totally bad for you to eat? We all have those junk foods (chocolate chip cookies, brown sugar Pop-Tarts, Wild Berry Skittles) that we resort to when we’re feeling down and need some snacks to lift our spirits. Well, have no fear. Here are some healthy alternatives to find solace in, that will add a little nutrition to our diets and a little brightening to our day.

1. Citrus Fruits

The more Vitamin C, the better. Oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, lemons, and more are some of the best antioxidants to increase your serotonin levels which as a result will make you happy and more energetic.

Courtesy of foodiechap.com at Spoon University of Michigan

2. Nuts

Hit up the trail mix aisle the next time you’re in Walmart. Known as great sources of magnesium and vitamin E, nuts will help you fight stress and fatigue. The best part? They come in pocket size portable packets for your convenience which makes nuts the epitome of an ideal relaxation food.

by Kirby Barth at Spoon Northwestern

3. Yogurt

We’ve all seen the Jamie Lee Curtis Activia TV ads, so we all know the power of yogurt. Not only will you have a clean digestive track, but yogurt, also, contains probiotics (for those of us who aren’t up-to-date with the fancy medical terms: probiotics are good-for-you bacteria) that help strengthen your immune system. Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse, too.

by Benjamin Hirsch at Spoon Cornell

4. Oatmeal

Not only has research proven that eating oatmeal 2 to 3 times a day soothes exhausted nerves and can improve poor sleeping habits, oatmeal possesses cardiovascular benefits, lowers cholesterol levels and helps fight asthma. So oatmeal has pretty much secured the title for ‘Most Versatile Snack,’ hands down.

by Taylor Helber at Spoon University of Michigan

5. Dark Chocolate

No need to stay away from sweets. Dark chocolate might just be the better route, since it contains amino acids essential to fight stress and increase our serotonin levels as well. Instead of the truffles, go for the dark chocolate with almonds or cocoa.

by Amanda Shulman at Spoon University of Pennsylvania

The post Snacks to Boost Your Mood originally appeared on Spoon University. Please visit Spoon University to see more posts like this one.


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!


The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

It's a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She's using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

The relief these high-sugar, high-carb foods bring may be fleeting, creating a "vicious cycle," Harvard University pediatrics and nutrition professor David Ludwig told NPR. "When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," he explained.

That's not to say there aren't foods that can boost our moods and help us weather bad times. The Omega-3s found in fish, flax seed and chia seeds can make us more emotionally and socially flexible and resilient, studies indicate. A nutrition-rich diet — high in beneficial proteins, vitamins and minerals — can help beat stress, battle anxiety and boost our immune system.

Perhaps best of all, dark chocolate, with its cocoa flavonols, can promote an upbeat outlook and clear thinking, as well as reduce inflammation and improve vascular health. It can have, The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey told NPR, "an acute effect on mood."

So next time you're down, maybe skip the ice cream and dig into some Omega-3-rich salmon (pictured above) with a side of vitamin-rich kale, then indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate bark. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is about 1 ounce per day. But don't tell that to the cat!