Many people get depressed in the winter or suffer from “the winter blues”. The official science term is seasonal affective disorder (SAD).Most people believe winter depression is changed by the changing season and the loss of time in daylight. It has been researched that eating a healthy diet and exercise can help improve your winter blues.

Here are 5 foods you can incorporate into your diet to boost your mood:

1. High-quality Protein Foods

High-quality protein contains essential amino acids that help positively affect your mood. The amino acid, tryptophan gets converted into serotonin in the brain, also known as one of the “happy hormones”. A low-level of serotonin high affects our mood and entire body, it can cause anxiety, depression, and low-quality rest. Serotonin helps our body stabilize our mood, happiness, and the general feeling of well-being.

Have you tried PROFI’s protein powder?! PROFI protein powder is a complete, plant-based protein powder that contains all the 9 essential amino acids. (Yes, tryptophan is included!).

2. Folic Acid Rich Foods

Folic Acid, also known as vitamin B9 aids the body produce new red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. A low-level of folic acid in our diets can cause low-energy and can cause lower levels of serotonin. Try eating folic acid-rich foods like green leafy vegetables like spinach, lentils, tofu, and kidney beans.

Try this delicious Sweet Chili Tofu Bowl recipe!

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Food

Some studies have shown omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been effective in helping reduce the symptoms of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids help stabilize mood and have anti-inflammatory actions that may help relieve depression. Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts are all foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid.

Add omega-3 fatty acid into your meal with this Vegan Lentil Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash recipe.

4. Dark Chocolate

We all have heard dark chocolate can mend a broken heart. There is actually some reason for that. Dark chocolate helps encourage the production of endorphins, another “happy hormone” that helps reduce stress and boosts positive mood. Dark chocolate also contains the essential amino acid tryptophan which we have discussed its effects.

Here is a Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe to boost your mood!

5. No-Sugar-Added Foods

Consuming sugar, we get a short boost of energy but ultimately, we will have a sugar crash. Over consuming sugar causes inflammation throughout the body and also can cause brain chemical imbalances that can lead to depression and imbalance of mood. Sugar has also been linked to several highly negative effects on the human body, which you might as well avoid especially sugar in processed foods.

PROFI protein powders are all no-sugar-added and is sweetened with stevia. We understand that stevia may not be for everyone, which is why we have the PROFI Protein Booster that is unsweetened and perfect for any dish, sweet or savory!