Feeling blue? Many people seek comfort from favorite foods like chocolate kisses, salty chips, and pillowy pastries when they're feeling down. But if you really want to boost your mood, make different choices, nutritionists say. Although clinical depression is a serious illness that requires treatment beyond nutrition, changing what you eat can help beat garden-variety blues caused by stress, and will boost low energy, too.
"We reach for what we think will make us feel better, but we too often wind up making ourselves feel worse in the long run," says Beth Reardon, director of nutrition at Duke University's Duke Integrative Medicine. The wrong foods can cause physiological reactions that intensify symptoms such as lethargy, irritability, and cravings. Meanwhile the right foods -- like the following five -- can stabilize blood sugar, eliminate mood swings, and boost neurotransmitters in the brain, all factors that influence your emotions.