Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression, winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder where people are mentally healthy most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms during a specific period — most commonly in the winter.
Usually, symptoms begin to worsen as early as fall, and they’re at their peak in the winter months. During this time, people experience depression symptoms that include feelings of hopelessness, social withdrawal, lack of concentration or fatigue.
To reduce these depression symptoms, one can take medication, do therapy, exercise, or make changers in their diet. Let’s see what foods can improve your mood during the winter months.
Lean proteins are great to improve your mood, as they are packed with amino acids. What’s more, they’re also an excellent source of energy, which can be very helpful to battling fatigue. Salmon is a good source of lean proteins, but it’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids. There’s no doubt that steaks are delicious, but the saturated fat content in the meat may not go so well to improve your mood or your health.
Omega-3 fatty acids have great health benefits and may possibly influence your mood. A study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that people who have higher omega-3 levels are less likely to experience mild or moderate symptoms of depression. Low levels of omega-3 are linked to disorders such as major depressive disorder, ADD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts, tuna, anchovies, egg yolks or sardines are good sources of omega-3s.
Stress can make you feel exhausted as it aggravates depression symptoms. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries have a role in preventing the release of Cortisol (the stress hormone). Cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland, and during stressful periods, it goes straight to the part of the brain that stores memories and offers emotional responses. So, keeping
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
You may think it’s hard to keep track of the sugar you’re consuming, but it’s fairly easy to read the labels on food products. It will appear in various forms, syrups, or words that end in “-ose”.
Sugar does indeed improve your mood in the beginning, but research from UCLA suggests a combination between too much sugar and too few omega-3s can slow down your brain. The research is still ongoing, but it’s pretty clear you should steer clear of sugar, especially if you’re depressed. The crash after a sugar high can worsen your depression.
Chocolate is helpful if you want to self-medicate when you’re feeling down, but eating a Hershey’s bar isn’t really the way to go. One study followed participants who were administered a dark chocolate mixed drink daily for a month. The results showed considerable improvements in mood, which researchers believe is due to the chocolate’s high polyphenol (antioxidants) content. So, when you’re feeling blue, grab a chocolate bar, but make sure it’s really high in cocoa content.
Bananas are high in potassium, natural sugars and carbohydrates and can fuel your brain and reduce depression. Besides this, bananas contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Bananas may also reduce anxiety and improve sleep thanks to its high magnesium content.