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An HC Guide to Boosting Your Mood with Food

Feeling cranky, tired, depressed or moody? Well, collegiettes we’ve all heard the expression “you are what you eat!” By changing your diet you can actually boost your mood resulting in a much happier college life!

No one enjoys feeling like they have a constant case of bad PMS so by incorporating some (or all!) of the following foods you will notice a substantial increase in the way you feel. Combined with exercise and a great nights sleep, you may just be able to take on the world…or at least your tons of homework.

1. Salmon

Salmon (and also walnuts) contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. What is so important about Omega-3s? Studies have shown they help fight off mood swings and can improve your memory and focus. It is important to consume foods with Omega-3s, because the human body cannot produce them on its own!

2. Oatmeal

This super food is awesome for a number of reasons. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease (the #1 cause of mortality for women) by reducing your LDL cholesterol levels (the bad kind!) without changing your HDL levels (the good kind!).

Oatmeal is a great source of thiamine, niacin and folate as well. These are all vitamins and minerals that increase metabolism, energy and muscle function. Oatmeal also contains soluble fiber which helps you feel fuller longer; therefore, decreasing mid-morning calorie cravings and increasing weight loss!

3. Dark Chocolate 

Wait, chocolate? Really? Yes! Enjoying a small portion of dark chocolate everyday actually has life saving qualities. The high levels of antioxidants can help lower your blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Feel free to indulge! 

4. Greek yogurt

Thick and creamy Greek yogurt has become a go-to-snack! It contains high levels of protein, which keep you feeling fuller longer. How much exactly? “Greek yogurt has double the protein of most regular yogurts,” the New York-based nutrition expert, Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D. explains. “An 8-ounce cup has as much protein as a 3-ounce chicken cutlet!” And with tons of probiotics you get an awesome immune system boost – perfect for surviving dorm epidemics, late nights and frat parties. Just be careful to watch the sugar to calorie ratio. 

5. Berries

Berries – strawberries, blackberries, blueberries – have high levels of antioxidants. These antioxidants are known to fight against cancer, heart disease, as well as early aging. They also are shown to reduce stress and anxiety.

A low calorie food, berries are high in fiber and are considered key for flat abs! Try them in a morning smoothie or add them to your oatmeal.

6. Avocado 

Did you know that an avocado only contains 200 calories? And even better it reduces bad cholesterol, decreases the risk of stroke and promotes a healthy heart! It is also rich in several key vitamins such as potassium, vitamin E, folate, and magnesium. All of these help to maintain overall health and are great for your hair, skin and nails.

Best part of all these foods? None are hard to find! Try to incorporate a few of them into your everyday diet and watch for improvements. Superfoods mean superhealth!



Gabrielle Cohen is an international studies major in the class of 2013 at The Johns Hopkins University. Born and raised in New England suburbia, she is the founder of Her Campus Johns Hopkins and is a member of Phi Mu. In the fall of 2011, she studied in Rome, Italy before returing to Hopkins! Follow her on Twitter at @gabrielleeanna!
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