These mood-boosters and muscle relaxants will add a spring in your step
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We become what we eat – we’ve all heard this, but most of us don’t quite believe it. This means, whatever you put in your tummy, will directly be affecting your outer appearance, mood and also health. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration can reduce vigilance and memory, while increasing tension, anxiety and fatigue. It’s therefore important that you pay attention to what you mindlessly put in, as the University Of Oxford Department Of Plant Sciences found genetic evidence that our diets can affect the DNA sequences of our genes. However, the good news is that there are also foods that can instantly lift your mood and make you feel happier. Say hello these natural mood-lifters and muscle relaxants. These five foods when combined with a healthy lifestyle, yoga and meditation, can bring the happy soul in you to life. After all, happy foods make happy people!

Dark chocolate

Yes, you read it right! Calling out all chocolate lovers. We bring you one more reason to indulge in chocolate love. However, the darker, the better! Studies suggest that the antioxidants in dark chocolate trigger the walls of your blood vessels helping them relax, thereby lowering blood pressure and improving overall circulation. Besides, according to two new studies from Loma Linda University in California, dark chocolate can significantly help bring down the levels of stress hormones. What more, it also contains magnesium, a mineral which helps relieve PMS symptoms, including fatigue and irritability. However, make sure that you gorge on dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao, typically over 70 percent. Once you’ve found the right bar of dark chocolate, you could satisfy your sweet-tooth cravings with these recipes.



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Apples

An apple a day helps keep stress away! When stressed, apples can help calm your nerves, thanks to their calming effect. An abundant source of an antioxidant known as quercetin, apples help fuel neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby helping reduce inflammation and improve your mood. Apples are also a good source of vitamin C, which in turn has been linked to the reduction in stress and anxiety. This superfood is also rich in pectin, a fibre which helps keep your insulin levels under check, preventing mood swings due to low blood sugar levels. Make the most of apples by sneaking them into your daily recipes, such as a smoothie or dessert! 



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Coffee

Coffeeholics, rejoice! A psychologist along with his team of volunteers from the Ruhr University, Germany found that regular java consumption can lead to positivity – one can spot positive words much more quickly. When consumed in moderation, that morning cup of Joe can also help lower the levels of depression. Besides, the caffeine in coffee helps improve your focus, alertness and also performance. Certain studies also suggest that coffee consumption helps protect against Type 2 diabetes. Go easy on the caffeine though. Here are some ideas just for you! 



Apricots

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These summer fruits are a good source of vitamin B6, which studies suggest can help reduce depression. Additionally, these summery treats contain the antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all of which act as instant mood-lifters. Throw these yellow beauties into your pies, tarts or simply blend them into your favourite drinks. 


Citrus fruits

It’s no news that citrus fruits such as oranges, sweet limes, etc are all a rich source of vitamin C. But did you know that vitamin C helps boost immunity levels, reduce cortisol levels, relieve anxiety, AND lifts your mood! The good news, just one orange can provide you with about 100 mg of vitamin C, which is 130 percent of the daily recommended intake. The next time you go grocery shopping, don’t forget to throw in a few oranges into your cart! 



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