It may be March, but right now it sure doesn’t feel like spring is just around the corner. It’s been pretty chilly as of late near Healthy Way to Cook’s NYC headquarters–in fact, we we woke up this morning to find several inches of snow covering the tops of the cars outside. Regardless of whatever that groundhog indicated last month, there was apparently no avoiding more winter weather this year.

When you’re singing the winter blues, energy and motivation tend to be at a low point. The cool temperatures and lack of daylight make us want to curl up in bed as soon as the sun goes down. Luckily, there are certain foods that are believed to boost your mood and energy levels to make it a little easier to deal with the gloomy cold days left in the season. 

The key is consuming nutritious whole foods that increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is said to contribute to feelings of happiness and well-being. Tryptophan, calcium, magnesium, B and D vitamins work in conjunction with omega 3 fatty acids to generate serotonin in the brain. Here’s a short list of foods that contain one or more of these nutrients:

Bananas
Pineapples
Avocado
Eggs
Fish
Turkey
Whole Grains (oats, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, etc.)
Nuts
Milk/Yogurt
Cheese
Dark Chocolate

Try out some of our mood-boosting winter day menu suggestions to get happy!

Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas and walnuts; scrambled eggs with reduced-fat cheese
Lunch: Turkey and cheese on whole grain bread; Veggie wrap with avocado on a whole grain tortilla
Dinner: Salmon with brown rice; turkey sausage with whole wheat pasta
Snacks: Nonfat vanilla yogurt with pineapple; dark chocolate with peanut butter

What foods do you eat to put yourself in a better mood?

All images via FreeDigitalPhotos.net