These quick, healthy snacks are sure to boost your mood during the coldest, darkest time of the year.
Fight the Freeze with Food
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Having lived in Chicago for many years before moving back to sunny San Diego, I know firsthand what it's like to have the winter blues. There are lots of tricks you can use to help lift your spirits naturally, including exercise, spending time outside, and eating nutrient-rich, delicious foods. Research supports that certain foods, such as chocolate, fruits, vegetables, coconut, and spices can improve your mood. These simple snacks and recipe ideas will help you get the most out of those short, dark days—even if you're on the go.
Photo: herbertschroer/Getty Images
Blueberry Almond Cookies
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Replace chocolate chips with blueberries for an added dose of antioxidants. Bake a batch (in just 30 minutes!), and you'll have a healthy grab-and-go snack at the ready.
Get the recipe: Blueberry Almond Cookies
Photo: Shaw's Simple Swaps
Luna Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond Bar
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Craving chocolate candy? Me too! LUNA's Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond is a convenient snack that you can grab on the run. With 7 grams of protein, less than 5 grams of sugar, and just under 180 calories, this is a healthy, quick fix to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
Photo: LUNA Bar
Saffron Coconut Milk
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Try this saffron coconut milk in lieu of traditional hot cocoa. Saffron gives this drink a mood-boosting touch of color and satisfying subtle flavor. We suggest pouring in a thermos for the perfect pick-me-up during your commute.
Get the recipe: Saffron Coconut Milk
Photo: Desi-licious RD
Spicy Cocoa Popcorn
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Did you know delicious popcorn is a source of whole grains? Yep, this simple DIY spicy popcorn is an excellent way to enjoy some comforting carbs without going overboard. It's lightly sweetened with natural cane sugar and a little cocoa, so you'll satisfy your sweet tooth too. (We also suggest these Healthy Popcorn Recipes with Tricked Out Toppings.)
Get the recipe: Spicy Cocoa Popcorn
Photo: Nutrition à la Natalie
Savory Curry Granola with Spiced Mango
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This crunchy granola features whole grains, seeds, and nuts, along with warming curry and a touch of mango. Add some to your yogurt for a major mood boost.
Get the recipe: Savory Curry Granola with Spiced Mango
Photo: Avocado a Day Nutrition
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If you're over the kale chip craze and want a snack pronto, these veggie chips made from beets are sure to satisfy. Beet chips are filled with 5 grams of fiber and potassium for just 100 calories per serving. Keep these on standby for your salty cravings.
Try it: Beet Chips
Photo: Rhythm Superfoods