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Cultivation–Mood Boosting Food

January 2022 Newsletter

During the winter months, it is imperative we consume foods that keep us healthy both mentally and physically. That being said, it is important to understand the effects some foods have on the way we feel mentally. The neurotransmitters in your brain react differently depending on the food you put into your system. Learning what food is in season can help you reduce your carbon footprint whilst shopping for groceries this winter season.


According to the professionals at The Cleveland Clinic, serotonin is the chemical released after you eat carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and starches. After eating these types of foods, people tend to feel calm and can reduce the feeling of depression. As most of us know, carbohydrates can come in many forms and are incredibly import for our bodies to function appropriately. However, the quality of these carbohydrates means a great deal when deciding what to eat.

Norepinephrine & Dopamine

Norepinephrine and Dopamine are released when you eat proteins like meat or legumes. These chemicals, when released, help you feel alert and can improve mental concentration. Top tier proteins consist of fish, lean beef or pork, low-fat dairy, and eggs. In winter, diets high in B12 and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease depression and improve mood. Choices include mackerel, anchovies, sardines, salmon and tuna.

What is in Season?

The Santa Cruz Community Farmer's Market is a great way we can access delicious, fresh winter foods. Great protein choices available in winter, that will boost your mood, are sardines, crab, and eggs. The available options of leafy greens can range from chard, to mustard greens to spinach. Fruit found this time of year are kiwi, grapes, and pomegranate. Accompany these local choices with some green tea and you'll be ready for winter.


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