Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, January 9th, 2012
The holidays are over and the gray gloom of winter has settled over us. It is common for many people to feel a little blue. If you are feeling tired, lethargic or just needing an extra boost to get out of bed in the morning, a little change in diet may be all you need.
Our mood is regulated by the production of the “happy hormone” serotonin in the brain. Our levels of serotonin may shift throughout the year, most noticeable in winter here in the Northwest. Luckily, there are some natural ways to boost your mood, keeping those winter blues at bay.
Pump up the following foods in your diet for a natural mood booster:
Folate. Otherwise known as Vitamin B. This vitamin keeps the blood and nutrients flowing to the brain, allowing for healthy hormone production. Folate can be found in spinach, broccoli, beans, kale, brussel sprouts and mushrooms. So eat your veggies.
Omega 3’s. Studies have shown an improvement in mood with the consumptions of this essential fatty acid. Foods rich in omega 3’s include salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseed. A quality fish oil supplement is helpful as well.
Vitamin D. The body makes vitamin D from sunlight and helps in the production of serotonin. Winter brings a decrease in sunlight so down goes our happy hormone production. Vitamin D food sources are limited, so a supplement is highly recommended throughout the year.
For an energy boost, it is tempting to reach for the simple carbohydrates like pretzels, cookies and white bread. These can instantly make you feel happier and more energetic. Too good to be true, right? Yep. These offer a quick fix, often leaving you more tired and lethargic an hour later. Instead keep these healthier options on hand:
Fruits and veggies (always of course)
Whole grain crackers
And let’s not forget my favorite. A couple of squares of rich dark chocolate are a mood booster any time of day. If you can stop at a couple of squares. The “more the better” rule does not apply here unfortunately.
Like anything else, if your symptoms are severe or linger for months on end, it is best to seek medical advice. For mild winter blues, your best defense is a healthy diet and some hope that spring comes early this year.
Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
Ph: 503 621 7549