What you eat--and when you eat--plays a huge role in how you feel. If you need further proof that food affects your mood, think about how you feel after that first glorious cup of coffee in the morning (or, OK, after ravaging that bag of mini Kit Kats on a particularly crappy day). Here, six ways to start your day right--no matter what side of the bed you woke up on.

seasonal fruit list
Twenty20

Stomach-soothing fruits

Don’t have much of an appetite in the morning? Start with a few pieces of fresh fruit with your coffee or tea. Most (like citrus and berries) are loaded with vitamin C and iron, both of which will give you an extra boost of energy, all the while being easy on the digestion. Once your tummy has a chance to settle, reach for a light mid-morning snack like oatmeal or a handful of almonds for sustenance. 

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kefir

A bowl of kefir

Speaking of digestion...this fermented drink is packed with tons of gut-healthy probiotics, which is shown to help decrease feelings of anxiety or depression. It also has tryptophan, an amino acid that helps raise serotonin levels in the brain (another anxiety buster). Bottom line: If you anticipate a stressful day ahead, knock back a cup of kefir.

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salad1

Morning salad bowl

It may sound strange, but starting the day off with a salad is a win-win for both getting in your daily greens and kick-starting your day. Spinach, in particular, has tons of folate which supports serotonin regulation (again, necessary to manage your mood). Pair that with some protein and carbs to give it more substance--and keep you sustained until lunchtime.

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granola list1

Granola with pumpkin seed and almonds

This crunchy combo contains high amounts of amino acids, zinc and magnesium--all of which work together to boost your mood, keep you sated and help you relax no matter what comes up throughout the day. Might we suggest adding a light drizzle of agave or honey to sweeten the deal?

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RELATED: 5 Clever Ways to Sweeten Greek Yogurt

avocado toast list

Avocado toast with an egg

As if we really needed another excuse to eat avocado toast. Turns out, this trendy dish has all of the components of a balanced meal: carbs, fats and protein. And a balanced meal equals a balanced mood.

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go to meal list
Twenty20

A go-to meal

Have a favorite of the bunch? Stick to it. Eating the same thing every morning not only eliminates the stress of planning what to eat, but it’s also a guaranteed way to know exactly how you’re going to feel throughout the day. And that’s certainly something to look forward to every single morning.

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