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September 22, 2015 2 min read

It can be hard to feel like you have no control over your emotions or your physical well-being as well. You get enough sleep, you exercise, you're not overly stressed, yet sometimes you feel lethargic and grumpy among many other things. But perhaps the problem begins with what you're eating. More research is associating our moods to what we eat. So when we lack the proper amount of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, we are setting ourselves up for an increased risk of depression and anxiety.   The Western diet is typically high in sugar, fat and sodium, which we have dubbed "comfort foods" to promote a relief of anxiety and depression. And while we know a warm piece of chocolate can make us smile, often times we are associated that indulgence with the need to fill a void. Essentially, we are self-medicating ourselves with poor quality foods. So what should we be eating? A Mediterranean diet high in fish, olive oil, nuts and whole grains is the go-to, as it has been found to lower depression rates. In one study, people who followed a Mediterranean diet for four years were able to lessen their risk of depression by 40-60 percent. In another study, it was discovered that consuming a diet high in green, leafy veggies and berries made way for lower rates of Alzheimer's disease. Here are foods you can incorporate to boost your mood. 1. Leafy greens like kale and bok choy contain folate which has been used as a supplement to improve depression. Try this smoothie recipe: 2 cups of Tuscan kale 1 cup baby spinach 2 small frozen bananas 0.5 cup blueberries 2 cups of soy/almond/hemp milk 0.5 teaspoon honey (optional) 1.5 tablespoons chunky almond butter (optional) 2. Oysters and shellfish offer up a great source of Vitamin B12 which has been found to improve depression as well. 3. Walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts are a great way to get your Vitamin E fix. In one study, it was discovered that supplementing a Mediterranean diet with 30 grams of mixed nuts daily led to a decrease in depression. 4. Blueberries and other berries are linked with brain protection. In one study, it was found that by eating two servings of blueberries a week, you can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 35 percent. Do you incorporate any of these foods into your diet regularly? For creative ways to include these foods in your diet, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan! Source: Huffington Post  

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