Infographic: 5 Foods To Boost Your Holiday Mood

The holidays are a season to look forward to, with family gatherings and festive occasions in the works. But it's also a time of great pressure — finding the perfect gift, making travel arrangements. It can all be stressful, and it can lead to stress eating. Rather than grab for comfort foods that will leave you feeling bloated and, ironically, uncomfortable, try these 5 foods to boost your mood this holiday (and you can even use Membership Rewards points from American Express to help you along the way):

1. Quinoa — Salads in winter can be dreary. Now is the time to find a healthy grain that will keep your stomach full and your mind focused. Enter the superfood known as quinoa, which can serve as an anchor for almost any combination of ingredients, sort of like rice but with more nutrients. For all of your Quinoa recipes, use a bowl like Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, now available for 20% off via the Brand Sale courtesy of Membership Rewards from American Express. 

2. Pomegranate — Talk about a versatile food: sprinkle the seeds on a salad, grind them up in a Cuisinart® SmartPower Compact Portable Blender juicer (also available with Membership Rewards points), or jazz up your cocktail, but by all means use pomegranate. Its health benefits are legion, and the tart, juicy rush from this ancient fruit is better than even a caffeine blast.

3. Brussels Sprouts — Another great veg that's simple to roast and tasty to eat. So easy to prepare, you just slice the stem off Brussels sprouts, pull off any yellow outer leaves, then toss with olive oil, salt and pepper for a quick-to-prep seasonal treat that won't weigh you down. If you still want a meat fix, roast these sprouts with bacon for one of the culinary world's great combos.

4. Parsnips — One of the keys to feeling better during the holiday crush is eating in season, which will help you avoid pre-packaged foods. Parsnips may not look appetizing, but these gnarly carrot-like veggies are great when peeled and simply roasted with garlic or ginger. Bonus points, since they're in season, they should be less expensive than out-of-season (and thus imported) items.

5. Oysters — Winter is prime time for oysters, and what a luxurious way to start a meal. Mix in a little horseradish or cocktail sauce, slurp a half-dozen, and wash those holiday blues away.

I was selected by American Express as to help educate consumers about how to use Membership Rewards points. As such I was paid for my services, but all gift choices selected and opinions about the gifts and American Express are my own.