Get happy with more fruits and veggies!
Feb 27, 2019 at 4:30 PM
When the temperatures drop and the days are shorter, energy levels can deplete as well, along with mood. We tend to be less active in the colder months, which can also dampen an upbeat mood. Kick off the new year with positive vibes by including these produce items in your shopping cart.
Citrus fruits: Seasonal sicknesses can often contribute to a poor mood — no one enjoys being sick! Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and fiber to support a healthy immune system. They also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium to promote strong bones and muscle function. Pop a clementine into your lunch box for a refreshing addition to your meal or snack.
Winter squash: Winter squash is rich in vitamin A and carotenoids, which may benefit heart health and immunity while promoting healthy skin during the dry winter. They also have fiber, which keeps you fuller longer and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Toss butternut squash with cinnamon and roast in the oven or mix shredded spaghetti squash with your favorite pasta sauce.
Sweet potatoes: Another great source of fiber, sweet potatoes also contain vitamin A and potassium. This starchy vegetable provides complex carbohydrates that fuel body processes including brain function! Sweet potatoes can be baked, roasted, sautéed or pureed and added to recipes like oatmeal, baked goods, or even macaroni and cheese!
Cauliflower: A member of the cruciferous veggie family, cauliflower has beneficial phytochemicals that may play a role in preventing disease and inflammation. Cauliflower also contains B vitamins to support a healthy metabolism. A healthy body and metabolism gives you energy to do your best and feel your best. You guessed it — cauliflower can also be roasted in the oven, eaten raw, or “riced” and added to recipes like pizza crust or mashed potatoes.
Mushrooms: While loaded with lots of nutrients, mushrooms can also contain vitamin D if they are exposed to light during their growth. Vitamin D is important for bone health, but can also impact mood. Eat mushrooms raw, cooked or pureed and blended with ground meats in your favorite recipes like burgers, tacos or meatballs.
Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN is a Food City Registered Dietitian