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Foods to boost your moods

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Scientists study some pretty cool stuff. Seriously -- they've even figured out what foods have the power to make you feel happier when you eat 'em. Read on to find out what packs the biggest mood-boosting punch -- along with yummy recipes to work more of them into your routine.

The Food: Walnuts

Whether homework overload or fights with your mom have been plucking your nerves, walnuts are your new BFF. When people snack on a few of these nuts each day, their bods actually get better at coping with stress.

The Fix:
Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of your cereal in the a.m., or use them to add crunch to ice cream or fro-yo.

The Food: Bell Peppers

These veggies are packed with vitamin C, which is shown to give a serious pick-me-up. Make sure to stick with the red and yellow ones, though -- green peppers don't come with as much of the feel-good nutrient.

The Fix:
Cut peppers into strips and dip them in your favorite hummus or yogurt dip.

The Food: Strawberries

These fruity kisses just happen to be loaded with a little something called folate, which helps your bod produce more of the blues-beating hormone serotonin.

The Fix:
Treat yourself to a yummy smoothie by blending frozen strawberries with milk and a banana.

The Food: Toast

One whiff of this bad boy gets you feeling zen -- pronto. According to a recent study, the scent of toast makes people feel happy instantly!

The Fix:
Skip dessert tonight. Instead, have a slice of toast with a chocolate-hazelnut spread.

The Food: Salmon

Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid, a type of fat that's actually good for you. Why? It boosts brain power and fights off depression.

The Fix:
Make a salmon-salad wrap by mixing a can of drained salmon with some low-fat mayo and a bit of chopped celery, then roll it up in a flour tortilla.

The Food: Water

OK, so H2O isn't technically a food -- but it can help perk up your day! Since dehydration causes fatigue and all-around crankiness, loading up on the clear liquid helps you avoid a case of the blahs.

The Fix:
Throw a few fresh mint leaves in a glass of ice water and add a couple of squirts of lime juice for something you'll love sipping all day long.

The Food: Chocolate

It's true -- the sweet stuff really can reduce stress! The catch: It's gotta be dark chocolate. Also, you probably want to stick to 1 ounce a day so you don't overload on sugar.

The Fix:
Melt down a bar in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Then dip pretzels, marshmallows -- whatever! -- and let them sit on wax paper until hardened. 

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