Sometimes shaking off winter often means shaking off the winter blues.
If you've ever battled depression, then you know how hard it can be to do simple, daily tasks.
Just getting out of bed in the morning can seem impossible, and moving through your work or school day can be excruciating.
You lose interest in things you once loved to do, and you just can't seem to get rid of the feeling of sadness that takes over.
But if you do feel down, there are a few simple things you can do that might help.
And those things might be as close as your refrigerator.
According to a new study, eating healthy can play an important role in preventing various mental disorders, including anxiety and depression.
We don't always feel like we're in control of how we feel, but eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help.
Try these five foods this spring, to see if they can help boost your mood.
According to studies, a tomato-rich diet can lower one's chances of developing depression and prevent depressive symptoms.
The red pigment found in tomatoes, called lycopene, is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that plays a major chemical role in boosting your mood.
Try throwing tomatoes into your salad or eating your pasta with good-quality tomato sauce.
Tomatoes can also be added into a variety of soups and stews, so be sure to pick some up the next time you head to the farmer's market.
2. Pink grapefruit
This delicious citrus fruit is known for helping the body overcome depression, and it contains the same red pigment found in tomatoes.
Try eating a grapefruit for breakfast and sprinkling a little sugar on top if you like your fruit a little sweeter.
Or, treat yourself to homemade parfait by throwing some grapefruit chunks into vanilla Greek yogurt and topping it with honey.
If you can't find pink grapefruits at your local market, try drinking grapefruit juice.
Not only is watermelon a great thirst-quencher during the spring and summer months, but it also can help cut down on your risk of depression.
Watermelon is abundant with some of the best antioxidants, and according to Elizabeth Somer, RD, a dietitian in Salem, Oregon:
Watermelon has more lycopene than do tomatoes — up to 20 milligrams in each 2-cup serving. The lycopene in watermelon helps lower the risk for inflammation associated with dementia and possibly depression.
Try chopping up your watermelon and keeping it in your fridge for a handy snack, or blend it up with a bit of water for a refreshing slushy.
This tropical fruit also contains lycopene and will help boost your mood in the most satisfying way.
For a healthy start to your morning, try blending up guava and yogurt for a delicious smoothie.
Papaya is rich in antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, flavonoids, Vitamin C and Vitamin B.
It is also filled with folic acid, which has been linked to lowering symptoms of depression.
Try having a bowl of papaya for your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, or add some papaya to a fresh fruit salad for added nutrients.
While you should always consult a mental health professional before taking treatment into your own hands, consider eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants such as the ones listed.
Mental health should not be taken lightly. But the next time you're at the store, try picking up these antioxidant-rich foods to see if they help boost your mood and long-term health.