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Wellness Wednesdays: Five mood-boosting, stress-busting clean foods


Not feeling like yourself lately? Well it’s no wonder!

We just had two solid months of candy binges, big family meals, baked yumminess and party drinks. 

Now you’re cranky, bloated, slightly headachy and those joints are a bit stiffer than normal. 

A shiny new year is just days away, so before you start to focus on resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, finally get in shape, and organize everything. I’d like to offer some suggestions for stress busting, mood boosting healthy additions to incorporate into your life and your kitchen.


This time of year, your best bet is likely frozen rather than fresh. It’ll cost you less and berries will often be frozen almost immediately after harvest. Toss them into a smoothie, top your oatmeal with them or toss them onto a salad or some yogurt.

They contain an amino acid called tyrosine that will help your brain synthesize dopamine

Pumpkin Seeds

These little powerhouses have tryptophan in them and help your brain make serotonin. With at least 20 percent of the daily value of protein and fiber, these pepitas are loaded with important minerals like zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.


Yup!  I said Coffee. Research done over at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that women who drank between two and four cups of coffee per day were way less likely to be depressed than their non-caffeinated sisters.


Leafy greens in general are loaded with folate – a B vitamin that, if you’re not getting enough of, can really wreck your mood and fog your thinking. 

Always get the organic stuff but it doesn’t matter if it’s fresh or frozen.

Dark Chocolate

I am a big proponent of the idea of medicinal chocolate! There is a lot of evidence out there that good, quality dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa) can have some powerful health benefits. In moderation, of course. A square or two savored after lunch or dinner can be just perfect.

So, as this long, dark winter starts getting colder and colder, make sure you keep these gems on hand as part of your food-as-medicine toolkit.

Bernadette Smith is an organic gardener, life-long tree hugger and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living in Patchogue, N.Y. She offers free 30-minute Health Discovery Sessions and can reached through Facebook or by emailing

About the author: Bernadette Smith

Bernadette Smith is an organic gardener, life-long tree hugger and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach here on Long Island. She offers free 30-minute Health Discovery Sessions and can reached through Facebook or by emailing