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10 Superfoods That Will Super Boost Your Mood

10 Superfoods That Will Super Boost Your Mood

After the rush of the holidays, winter blues can have a great affect on your mood. Staying active and getting enough sleep are important to maintaining your well being, but including superfoods in your diet is another crucial factor to brightening your day. Here are a collection of foods that will give you a boast and put your mind at ease.

Swiss Chard

This leafy green has high levels of folic acid, which has been proven to be a strong mood booster. A study conducted by the University of York and Hull York Medical School discovered a connection between depression and low levels of folic acid. Spice up a meal with some delicious sauteed swiss chard and onions with this simple recipe here.

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Asparagus

A versatile green veggie that can easily be roasted for a delicious addition to any meal and has been proven to raise low folic acid levels that are linked to depression. Asparagus also contains vitamin C which has been connected to easing depression. Eating a cup of this vegetable is recommended to be effective.

Oatmeal

This morning staple is high in magnesium that has been proven to combat anxiety and depression. It also has large amounts of soluble fiber that helps stabilize mood swings. Add flavor to your oats with these simple, but delicious recipes. For maximum results make sure to eat at least 1/2 cup of dried oats to jump start your day.

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Almonds

An easy and filling snack, these nuts are packed with magnesium, which are vital to maintaining good brain health and alleviating depression. Create a savory-sweet snack by making your own trail mix with almonds and other heart-healthy nuts and dried fruits. Snacking on around 23 almonds daily will allow you to see positive changes in your mood.

Dark Chocolate

Have a sweet tooth? Satisfy your cravings and get a natural mood boost through this sweet treat by eating 3.5 to 7 ounces daily. Need another reason to indulge? The Journal of Psychopharmacology concluded that dark chocolate is filled with cocoa flavanols, a key ingredient that helps reduce stress levels.

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Tomatoes

Often mistaken for a vegetable, these fruits are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which helps rid the body of free radicals that damage cells. Tomatoes are also known to have high levels of folic acid that help prevent depression. The recommended amount is 1/3 cups of tomatoes daily to reach optimal results.

Eggs

This protein-packed breakfast food, assists with your body’s ability to create serotonin. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression. For a bright start to your day, check out these healthy egg-based recipes. It is proven that up to three eggs are safe for daily consumption for healthy individuals, but if you are worried about your cholesterol intake consult with your physician first.LentilsWhat’s better than a steaming bowl of lentil soup on a cold winter’s day? Not much. An added bonus is that lentils are packed with folic acid, which is a major mood booster. Lentils also have the amino acid L-tyrosine, that allows your brain to create the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine that help fight off depression. A cup of cooked lentils is the minimum amount recommended for effectiveness.

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Honey

Nature’s sweetener is known to have a calming effect that can soothe anxious minds. Honey is also known to have tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep by creating the hormone serotonin that is known to aid in relaxation. Try it in a cup of tea, with some plain yogurt or just as a spoonful to have an instant effect on frazzled nerves. Ten tablespoons is the recommended maximum amount for daily consumption.

Mussels

This superfood from the sea is filled with vitamin B12, which is necessary for normal nervous system functioning and is critical in creating a compound named S-adenosylmethionine that monitors your mood. For a delicious and mood-elevating meal, try making your mussels with garlic butter, a recipe where you cannot go wrong. Be mindful that mussels have a high sodium content, where a 6-ounce serving has 627 milligrams of sodium, so consume in moderation.

Featured photo credit: An image of a woman eating vegetable salad via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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