Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects millions of people around the world. Whether you’re experiencing SAD this winter, or simply want to support your health and enhance your energy levels and your mood, these mood-boosting foods will nourish the spirit, mind and body. 

BREAKFAST: Pineapple Zinger Smoothie

mood-boosting foodsLet the tropical taste of pineapple whisk you away.

Pineapple is high in serotonin, a chemical messenger that influences your mood and may help to promote an elevated sense of happiness. 

The banana in this breakfast smoothie is also a great source of vitamin B6, an important vitamin that helps your brain to synthesize both dopamine and serotonin (further enhancing your good mood).

¼ fresh pineapple – peeled, cored and cubed

1 large banana, frozen

1 cup pineapple or apple juice, chilled

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

[ DOWNLOAD THIS RECIPE ]

LUNCH: Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls

mood-boosting foodsStudies have shown that diets that are low in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body to create serotonin, correlate with higher rates of anxiety, stress and depression. 

Tofu is one of the best plant-based mood-boosting foods containing tryptophan. This spicy recipe is quick to prepare (no marinating required!) and full of not just mood-boosting soy protein, but also fiber, antioxidants and flavonoids that strengthen your immune system.

SESAME KALE

1 bunch fresh kale

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp tamari sauce

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp sesame seeds

SEASONED TOFU

1 14-ounce package of extra-firm tofu

1-2 tbsp chili garlic sauce (any brand from the store will do; adjust based on your own personal spice preference)

1 tbsp tamari sauce

BOWLS

4 cups cooked quinoa

1 lime, cut into wedges

Remove the tofu from its package and press between paper towels or cloth towels to remove the last bits of moisture. The drier your tofu, the better it can absorb the flavors in your seasoning and sauces. Once dry, combine the tofu with the tamari sauce and chili garlic sauce and set aside. 

Prepare the kale by sauteeing it in oil with the garlic. Cook until the kale starts to wilt, then remove from heat and add the tamari sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

In a new skillet, heat up a dash of oil and saute the tofu. Fry for a minute or two on each side or until the tofu is golden brown. 

Assemble your lunch by filling a bowl with quinoa, then topping with the kale before scattering a spoonful of tofu on top. Drizzle a bit of the leftover sauce over the entire bowl, squeeze some fresh lime juice on top, and enjoy!

[ DOWNLOAD THIS RECIPE ]

DINNER: Quick and Easy Egg Casserole

mood-boosting foodsThere’s something cozy and comforting about this mood-boosting meal. It hits all the marks: Gooey cheese (dairy is a great source of tryptophan!), a bit of crunch from being baked, and a rich, creamy texture that’s perfect for a cold weeknight evening. 

Eggs are one of the best mood-boosting foods for mental health. Research has found that egg protein helps to raise the levels of tryptophan that’s measurable in your blood. Plus, egg yolks are high in omega-3 fats, choline, biotin and other nutrients that have been shown to boost your health, your wellness and your mood. 

2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

6 eggs (ideally local, organic and free-ranged for maximum health benefits), beaten

2 slices of whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 green onions, minced

3 tablespoons milk

2 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

While your oven is heating up, grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish. 

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and pour into your casserole dish.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and the top of the casserole is crisp and golden brown.

[ DOWNLOAD THIS RECIPE ]

Beyond Mood-Boosting Foods: More Ways to Support Your Health

Your diet is just one piece in your immune system’s wellness puzzle. Thymic proteins are another piece. It is the job of these thymic proteins to train the body’s immune system to effectively seek and identify diseased cells. Unfortunately, your levels of thymic proteins fall as you get older. BioPro-Plus 500 offers a full dose of thymic proteins to help restore your body’s natural levels. Maximize your health by combining the above meals with healthy supplements!

Hungry For More Mood-Boosting Foods? Keep Reading:

Vitamin C Meals: Delicious Recipes Rich in This Immunity Vitamin

3 Healthy Dinner Recipes for the Holidays!