Winter means shorter days, colder weather and less sunshine – which can also bring on a case of the winter blues. Fret not! New research from the University of Cincinnati shows that eating fresh strawberries daily may help reduce depressive symptoms in addition to reducing cognitive decline.
America’s favorite heart-shaped fruit certainly puts a smile on our face and a little pep in our step, so it’s easy to see how they can also give a little boost to your mood. The study supports the growing body of research around strawberries and brain health, making this a win-win for everyone.
If the winter blues have you down, here are some of our favorite ways to boost our moods and spirits:
- Take a walk: Get outside and enjoy a little fresh air. Physical activity has been shown to boost your mood and decrease symptoms of depression.
- Soak up the sun: Make getting outside a priority, even if it’s a little chilly! Sunlight can balance your serotonin and circadian rhythm, increase melatonin production and increase vitamin D levels.
- Keep your immune system strong: There’s nothing like a winter cold to bring down your mood. Give your immune system a boost with the vitamin C in strawberries! Just one cup of strawberries provides 95% of your daily value.
- Maintain your sleep routine: Don’t let the earlier winter sunsets throw you for a loop, you should keep your same schedule during the winter, going to bed and rising at the same time.
- Eat mood-boosting foods: Food does more than fuel our bodies, it can also bring us joy! Fatty fish, dark chocolate, fresh strawberries, nuts, beans, oats and more are all great options to include.
Try one of these mood-boosting strawberry recipes this week:
A delicious way to fit more fruits and veggies into your day! Tuna is paired with bell peppers, onions and strawberries, then broiled to perfection and topped with a fresh strawberry salsa.
Who doesn’t love a delicious, warm cookie this time of year? Kick those classic chocolate chip cookies up a notch with decadent dark chocolate and fresh strawberries. Pair with a glass of milk for some vitamin D
This Strawberry Kale Salad, topped with pecans and feta cheese and drizzled with Balsamic vinaigrette, comes together for a fresh and flavorful side dish. Add grilled chicken or salmon to transform into a light dinner.
Top off a bagel with strawberries, cream cheese, avocado, radishes, mint and edible flowers to create this gorgeous and delicious breakfast that’s sure to put a smile on your face.
Chia seeds, strawberries and chocolate are a powerhouse mood-boosting combination! Make a batch of these for a sweet treat to enjoy throughout the week.