February’s ingredient is: strawberries!

strawberryOne of the most romantic foods (and often associated with Valentine’s Day) are strawberries. Not only are they great for setting the mood that day, they are an excellent source of numerous vitamins and minerals that have positive effects on mental health.

One cup of strawberries has more than 100% of the daily value of Vitamin C. This vitamin is crucial for restorative purposes. When we are stressed our adrenal glands kick into high gear to produce cortisol to keep up with our excess demands. When the stress becomes too high or becomes chronic, our adrenal glands become weak. Vitamin C has been shown to repair the damage to adrenal glands from chronic stress.

Strawberries are also a good source of manganese, a mineral that is needed for optimal brain functioning. Eating a diet high in manganese can lower depressive symptoms such as irritability, sadness, low mood and fatigue.

Folate, a type of B-vitamin, is also found in strawberries. Folate (or folic acid) is also connected with lowering symptoms of depression and improving low mood.

Finally, strawberries are a good source of magnesium. A diet low in magnesium has been shown to increase fatigue, moodiness, anxiety and insomnia. Eating strawberries, or other foods high in magnesium, can also help relieve stress, depressive symptoms and improve memory.

How do you like to eat your strawberries?

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