Eating a healthy and balanced diet is a great way to make sure you are giving your body the fuel it needs to work the way that it is supposed to. Most people know the importance of eating healthy foods, but not all healthy food items are created equally. There are plenty of natural, healthy foods that are not only good for your body but good for your spirit as well. These foods have been shown to help boost your mood — and make you feel happier when you eat them.

Brazil Nuts

Very few foods can satisfy a salty craving quite like nuts. If you are in the mood for a healthy nut option, try Brazil nuts. Make sure to avoid nuts that are over-salted or contain artificial flavoring. All-natural Brazil nuts are high in selenium, a powerful antioxidant that has some impressive mood posting property. These nuts have 2,500 more times selenium than any other nut, meaning a single nut will give your body as much selenium as it needs. As an added bonus, selenium will not only help you feel happier, but this antioxidant also fights off harmful free radicals and boosts mental performance.

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Asparagus

Most vegetables are filled with the nutrients the body needs to work the way it should and to help boost your mood, however asparagus is particularly proficient when it comes to mood-regulation. This is one of the plants with the most tryptophan in it, which helps the body to create serotonin, otherwise known as the mood-boosting hormone. This is the same hormone created for the “runners high” effect people often get after working out. Asparagus is also packed with folate. Research has found that individuals with low folate levels are far more likely to suffer from depression.

Swiss Chard

This leafy green has become one of the latest go-to vegetables that nutritionists are recommending. This is because Swiss Chard is packed with vitamins and nutrients, and is even considered a healthier alternative to kale and spinach. Swiss Chard is also filled with magnesium, an essential nutrient that can help boost your mood and your energy levels. In fact, studies have been done on the links between magnesium and its positive effects on depression as getting enough of this nutrient can vastly improve mood and chemical imbalances.

Greek Yogurt

If you want to get more than your share of calcium for the day, then add a serving of Greek Yogurt to your diet. It has far more calcium than milk or regular yogurt and when the body has enough calcium it is able to send “feel good” neurotransmitters to the brain. When an individual is calcium deficient they are more likely to be irritable, depressed or suffer from anxiety.

Tomatoes

The skin of a tomato is filled with a phytonutrient known as lycopene. This is a healthy fat that prevents the build-up of compounds around the brain that are linked to depression. The more lycopene you eat, the less likely your brain is to start developing these compounds that can drastically lower your mood. If you really want to boost the amount of lycopene you are getting, then try smaller tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes have more skin, which means more opportunities to get the lycopene you need.

Consider these healthy pick-me-ups and start feeling you best quickly with these delicious, nutritious, feel bed food items.