10 Ways to Eat Your Blues Away
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), where the body can go into almost semi-hibernation, is caused by a lack of sunlight during the winter months. It can lead to an array of symptoms such as depression, fatigue and cravings for all the wrong foods. However, if we change what we eat and try to get as much sunshine in winter as we can (wrap up well) we can say goodbye to mood swings, binging and feeling low.
Here are 10 ways to eat yourself happier this winter:
1. Eat foods that release slow energy. Your brain needs a steady supply of glucose in the blood to release the body's feel-good chemicals. Make sure that you start the day with a whole-grain cereal like muesli or bran flakes, snack on fruit such as apples, pears and bananas, and eat a small amount of pasta, potatoes or whole-grain bread with your main meals.
2. Avoid long periods without food. This can lead to low blood sugar levels and irritability followed by the temptation to binge on sugary, fat-laden snacks, which eventually pile on the pounds and make you feel even worse in the long term.
3. Increase your vitamin B intake.This vitamin is vital for the production of the brain's "happy" nerve transmitters, so eat plenty dark green leafy vegetables (such as broccoli and spinach), black-eyed beans and whole-grain bread.
4. Eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium. Salmon, turkey and skimmed milk are all rich in minerals that help to soothe frayed nerves and encourage a good night's sleep.
5. Eat oily fish, cashews and pumpkin seeds. Tuna, salmon or sardines, cashews and flax, and pumpkin seeds are packed with essential fats that are vital for the brain's efficient functioning. A lack of essential fats has been linked to depression.