Grow a Good-Mood Garden

Ward off bad moods with a mood-boosting backyard garden.

By Emily Main


Growing and eating sunflowers will put you in a better moodSunflower

Eat it: Sunflower seeds are a great source for the antidepressant phenylalanine, an amino acid the body turns into norepinephrine.

Grow it: Sunflowers like sun, obviously, but be sure to plant them in a sunny spot on the north edge of your yard or garden so they don’t cast too much shade on other sun-loving plants. Plant your seeds after the last frost. Towards the end of summer, the flowers start to wilt and the seed heads ripen and droop. When the seeds in the seed heads start to turn brown, cut them along with 2 feet of stem and hang upside down in a dry, well-ventilated place, such as a garage or attic, until fully dry; store in plastic bags for birds and animal food. To eat, soak overnight in water (or strong salt water, if a salty flavor is desired), drain, spread on a shallow baking sheet, and roast for 3 hours at 200°F or until crisp.

Read More: A Sunflower Revolution

Photo: Rodale Inc.