Experts call the stomach your "second brain" for a reason: There's a little world of neurons hanging out in there, ready to fire off feel-good messages straight to your head. Get them going with eat-the-rainbow meals designed to energize, calm, or boost your mood.
This salad will prep you for anything. It's teeming with wild shrimp (low in cals, big in protein and iron to get you pumped), crunchy apples (for an all-natural sugar rush), and spicy peppers (loaded with capsaicins, compounds that stimulate the release of endorphins—the same chemicals that create a runner's high!).
There are mind-blowing numbers of avo toast on insta. But if you're after mind-sharpening, crown that crusty bread with anchovies. Yep, anchovies. These savory swimmers (boasting umami-rich flavor) are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which can fuel your mind and enhance a positive mood. Top it off with multihued carrots—the more colors, the greater the range of vitamins—to get your fill of memory-improving flavonoids.
Brownies. The word alone conjures good moods. Chocolate itself decreases cortisol levels, but this batch eclipses the classic. One: it's baked with sweet potatoes, which contain muscle-relaxing potassium and fiber, so you feel full faster. Two: Black beans are high in magnesium, which regulates the nervous system to help tame anxiety.
This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Women's Health. For more great ideas, pick up a copy on newsstands now!