4 Summer Recipes to Elevate Your Mood – CMC Therapy

4 Summer Recipes to Elevate Your Mood

The following is contributed by Rachel Jean-Louis, MS 


In a bad mood? Yes! What do you do to get in a better mood? What typically tends to happen is that you grab a bowl of your favorite ice cream, turn on your favorite movie and then boom, the movie and ice cream are done but guess what? You’re still in a bad mood and you might feel a little guilty for eating all that ice cream. While the ice cream may have given you a sugar rush, health wise it didn’t really help. With mental health awareness and self-care is on the forefront of today’s society, there has been an influx of research on how different types of foods can not only affect your physical health but also your mental health. 


With summer in full swing and with the trending mood of “Hot Girl Summer” in full effect, which is embracing your best life unapologetically for the summer. What does this have to do with summertime, good food good mood, you may ask, and it is making a fruit charcuterie board. Good thing about creating this board is that you have total creative control in the foods you like to include. 


So first off what should be included on this board. In no particular order, here are some sweet treats and fruit options to indulge yourself in and why they are helpful in boosting your mood.


First option, berries such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Blueberries is rich in anthocyanins which aids in decreasing irritability and depression. Next option, bananas which is a natural source of sugar and vitamin B6, which contains serotonin and dopamine, these neurotransmitters aids in calming the body and stabilizing your mood.

Next option, citrus fruits such as navel oranges, clementine, and grapefruit. These citrus fruits are rich with vitamin C which is good for your immune system and vitamin B which is an instant mood booster. Following all these wonderful fruits, time to add the sweet treat which is chocolate, particularly dark chocolate. Good quality dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and contains less sugar than milk chocolate. The components of dark chocolate can positively affect your health such as help lowering the risk of heart disease, reducing inflammation and increase the feel good chemicals in your brain. 


Other options besides fruits and chocolate that you can include to fill up your board is peppers. Yellow, red and peppers is very rich in vitamin C which can help slow down the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cherry tomatoes which contains a fat-soluble nutrient that can stop the buildup of pro-inflammatory compounds which is linked to depression. Avocados contains vitamin B and potassium both of these items increases serotonin and lowers blood pressure which will help keep you cool, calm and collected.


Feel free to include more than just these items. Perhaps adding crackers, cheese such as brie topped with strawberry preserves, and ranch or bleu cheese dip for the peppers. 


To complete the mood of “Hot Girl Summer” once your board is complete to your liking, have different drink options like lemonade, limeade and/or strawberry lemonade. Get cute, invite your best friends over and make it a movie night or set up a table outside or poolside and let the good times roll. 

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