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Everyone has been to a point where they eat to feel better. Whether it's a bad day, a stressful week, or simply feeling down, people tend to eat for comfort. Instead of eating a tub of ice-cream or a whole bag of chips, we can be smarter with our food choices and actually improve our moods. Eating junk food when you're already feeling down will actually make you feel worse. When you are suffering from the blues or simply experiencing a dip in morale, you can give yourself a boost of happiness with the right snack. So, what #Foods should we choose and why does it help?

Endorphins

Endorphins are the brain's number one pathway to joy.

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Endorphins are released into our bloodstream when we do things like exercise or laugh. However, if we are unable to exercise or haven't had a good laugh in awhile, we need another way to help increase endorphins. Endorphins are one of the body's "happy hormones.” They create the feeling of euphoria, pleasure, and relieved stress when they are released into the bloodstream.

Unfortunately, there are no foods that contain consumable, whole endorphins. There are, however, foods that stimulate endorphins and boost high vitamin levels. Certain vitamins and minerals play a big role in boosting the brain’s productivity such as #Vitamin B12 and C and minerals like zinc, potassium, and iron.

8 foods that will encourage endorphin release:

1. #Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins and it also contains serotonin, an antidepressant that can elevate mood as well.

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2. Strawberries

Strawberries, a favorite berry for many, are rich in vitamins and nutrients like vitamins A and C and manganese. They also serve as a strong line of defense against brain degeneration, while also boosting the happy chemicals in your brain.

3. Animal proteins

Animal proteins are the main source of vitamin B12, a vital part of boosting the brain’s productivity.

4. Oranges

Oranges, as well as other citrus fruits, are loaded with vitamin C, which helps lower stress, and folic acid, a B vitamin that can also help bring you up out of the slumps.

5. Spicy foods

Spicy foods, such as chili peppers, contain capsaicin. When you eat enough capsaicin, your body starts producing endorphins to block the pain of the heat which then lifts your mood.

6. Grapes

Grapes contain powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols. In addition to boosting your mood, they may slow or prevent many types of cancer.

7. Nuts and seeds

All nuts and seeds contain tryptophan with increase the bodies ability to produce serotonin.

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Studies show that eating a handful of nuts a day can lower your risk for cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. They're also good sources of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

8. Ginseng

Ginseng reduces the stress hormone cortisol while strengthening the adrenal glands. It creates a relaxed but alert state similar to that experienced by drinking green tea and also protects your stomach from ulcers that are caused by stress.

So, the next time you are feeling down try grabbing some dark chocolate covered strawberries, ginseng tea, or some nuts and seeds trail mix to help boost your mood!