Taste of Health Francesca Ballicu | 5 years ago

6 Foods to Help Combat Seasonal Anxiety

When dark days have you feeling down, these foods can help lift your mood.

Winter weather got you feeling blue? These nutrient-rich eats can help reduce stress, ease anxiety and fight depression.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate – You’ve probably heard this before, but dark chocolate really does make you happy! Studies have shown that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones such as cortisol in people who suffered from anxiety and depression. This could be because dark chocolate is full of powerful antioxidants. Just make sure that you don’t go overboard when you indulge, because chocolate is very high in calories.

Good Carbs

Good Carbs – Whole grain carbohydrates like unprocessed oats and grains (think oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice and seeded whole grain bread) boost the production of serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical. Now that’s comfort food!


Avocados – Don’t fear good fats. Avocados are unique in that they include vitamin B6 and folic acid in a combination that makes them extremely powerful for calming anxiety, reducing inflammation and increasing serotonin production in the brain.


Salmon – According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fish that’s high in omega-3s (like salmon) can help fight depression. To get the most benefit, try eating a 3-ounce serving of salmon two or three times a week.


Spices – The key to beating winter blues might be in your spice cabinet. Oregano, mint, basil, sage, cilantro, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and nutmeg contain nutrients so powerful that you only need about 1 teaspoon a day to increase serotonin production in the brain.


Coconut – Coconut is rich in lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides, which have been directly linked to happiness, clarity and the reduction of anxiety. Lauric acid also helps detoxify the body and cleanses the liver, while medium-chain triglycerides boost brain health.

Coconut-Salmon Salad with Citrus and Avocado

  • 1 salmon filet (4 ounces)
  • Mixed greens
  • ½ avocado
  • 2 tangerines
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut
For the dressing: Juice of 1 ½ oranges (about ⅓ cup) ½ tablespoon honey 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar ½ tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper (to taste) Directions: Grill or broil the salmon as desired. For the dressing, whisk the fresh orange juice, honey, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl and toss with the mixed greens, tangerines, sunflower seeds and coconut. Slice avocado and lay on top of mixed salad along with salmon. Enjoy! Do you wish you had a community to inspire you and support the choices you make to improve your family’s nutrition habits? Now you do. Join the conversation, or start your own, using #TasteOfHealth