When you feel an afternoon slump coming on, coffee is not your friend. The same applies to that brownie you crave when you’re feeling blue. Instead, here are 5 scientifically-healthy ways to increase your energy and boost your mood:

  • First, if you need a little pick-me-up: Skip the coffee and have a spinach salad. Nutrition expert Dr. Joanna Dolgoff says feeling sluggish is usually the result of poor blood-flow. And foods like spinach that are rich in B-vitamins increase the supply of oxygen-rich red blood cells to your brain and muscles.

  • Next up: You’re cranky. That’s your body’s way of saying, “I need fuel.” But grabbing a candy bar just sets you up for a sugar crash later on. Instead, try an apple and a spoonful of peanut butter, which provide complex carbs and protein for long-lasting energy.

  • Okay, what if you’re nervous about a presentation you have to give? The answer: Have salmon for lunch. Dr. Stephen Ilardi is a professor of clinical psychology and an expert on depression. And he says that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish greatly reduce anxiety, so, eat more herring, mackerel, and wild salmon.  

  • Another food-mood tip: If you lack focus, go for green tea. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum is an expert on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And he says green tea contains theanine, a compound that stimulates the brain's production of alpha waves, which are a sign of relaxed activity in the brain, and make us feel more alert and focused.

  • And this final food fix will lift your spirits when you’re feeling blue: Low-fat milk. Studies show that Vitamin D increases levels of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin – which helps stabilize mood and fight depression.