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Food to Improve Your Mood

March 2nd, 2002 Healthy Living

A heaping ice cream sundae, mashed potatoes and pepperoni pizza are just a few foods that make many people feel better. Even though they may not be the healthiest options around, they are generally considered to be comfort food. Of course, most of us can't get away with eating banana splits every single day. However, some foods don't just please our taste buds - they physically improve our mental state. The next time you're feeling blue, stay away from the brownies and reach for one of these healthy treats instead.

1. Turkey. As you may know, turkey contains tryptophan, which the body uses to create substances that help stabilize our moods. Don't worry about feeling tired after eating too much turkey. It turns out you have to eat a lot of poultry on an empty stomach to feel drowsy.

2. Salmon. Salmon is a great way to give your body a quick burst of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help stimulate your brain and make you feel better. If you're not a fan of salmon, tuna and walnuts are also good sources of this compound.

3. Beans. Like red meat, beans contain a lot of iron. But unlike red meat, beans have many fewer adverse side effects. Iron does a good job of helping our body combat fatigue and general malaise.

4. Chocolate. Okay, you can still indulge a little bit. Eating a bit of dark chocolate causes your brain to release endorphins, which in turn will make you feel happy. It also has a bit of caffeine, which can give you a slight energy boost.