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As you likely know, a common solution to depression and anxiety in Western society is to take drugs like Prozac. In fact, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States today.

But with a list of serious side effects, these drugs often cause more problems than they treat. And I’d like to argue that they aren’t addressing the root cause of mood or anxiety issues, which current research has linked to inflammation in the body.

Inflammation of all types can be traced back to a weak gut, so to feel less moody, uptight, or anxious we have to start here.

Sometimes, all it takes is a diet rich in good, healthy, brain-supportive foods to boost serotonin and dopamine (the feel-good neurotransmitters) in your brain. So, get crunching on those pumpkin seeds we talked about last week.

And, check out this key nutrient found in everyday foods that will naturally help boost your mood and bring warmth back into your day, regardless of the cold weather outside.

The B-Vitamins

The B-complex of vitamins have dramatic mood boosting and anxiety reducing effects – more than any other nutrient! These vitamins are crucial for optimal neurotransmitter levels in the body, which is crucial for good brain health.  And of the B’s, particularly important are B3 (niacin) and B6 (pyridoxine).

B3 is a building block of tryptophan and tryptophan is a building block of serotonin. B6 helps to conserve the tryptophan in your body.  Both influence mood and anxiety, helping your body to relax.

Some great food sources of B3 are:

  • liver
  • peanuts
  • mushrooms
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • whole grains
  • almonds
  • avocado

Some great food sources of B6 are:

  • walnuts
  • dark leafy greens, like spinach
  • egg
  • wild-caught fish
  • poultry
  • beans
  • sweet potato

Your Simple Action Plan:

Choose 1-2 vitamin B-rich foods and add them to your weekly shopping list. If you’re feeling consistently depressed, stressed or anxious, a high quality supplemental form of B-vitamins may be beneficial.