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5 Quick Pick-me-ups

Bananas – These are serious mood boosters due to their mix of vitamins A, B6, and C; fibre, tryptophan, potassium, phosphorous, iron, protein, and good carbohydrates. The natural sugars in a banana will give you a quick boost of energy while the fibre will help you sustain that energy. This will prevent a drop in your energy and mood and high blood sugar levels. Vitamin B6 helps the brain convert tryptophan into serotonin, the mood boosting hormone. If you’re feeling down and need a snack have a banana.

Body posture – Have you ever noticed that you have a perkier step when you are happy? Happy people walk fast, stand tall and are full of life and energy. Take notice of the way you carry yourself. Try not to shuffle your feet, walk slowly and slouch – this will make you appear lifeless and pessimistic. If your feeling sluggish, taking big steps, standing tall, and walking faster will help you look and feel optimistic and energetic.

Sleep – By getting less sleep than we need (for example – 6 hours instead of 7), our brains tend to lean towards negative thoughts instead of positive ones. An article in the Journal of American Medical Association found that even one night of insufficient sleep can negatively affect our mood. Even though its not easy to get those extra couple hours of sleep, your mood depends on it. Shut off the computers and televisions and get the sleep your brain needs.

Sunlight – getting fresh air and exercise is the best way to boost your mood and your energy. The natural combination on a regular basis will work every time to pick you up. Take long deep breaths as you go on a brisk walk and reap the mood-lifting benefits of exercise. Remember to wear sunscreen when spending long periods of time outside in order to protect against sun damage.

Walnuts – These contain a lot of healthy components that help improve your mood. Walnuts have omega-3s, vitamin B6, tryptophan, protien, and folate. Omega-3s have health benefits including cancer preventing and acne preventing benefits, and have been linked with better moods and lower depression rates. A study by Harvard Medical School found that omega-3s and uridine (another component found in walnuts) worked in the same way as antidepressant medications. The average dose of omega-3 oils is 1,000 mg per day. You can get the same amount in half an ounce of walnuts.

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