Foods To Help Fight the Winter Blues

Foods To Help Fight the Winter Blues

Between the shorter days and cooler temperatures, the next few months can leave many of us with a case of the winter blues. Luckily, there are some key nutrients that may help boost your mood. Many of these nutrients are available in an array of foods that are easy to find at your local market. Try incorporating as many of these foods as you like, to hopefully help you get through the winter feeling your best.

Omega-3 Fats
You can add fighting off depression to the list of health benefits these fats have to offer. One study showed that those with higher levels of omega-3s were less likely to experience moderate or mild symptoms of depression. In addition, a 2016 meta-analysis with over 150,000 participants examined the relationship between fish consumption and depression. Researchers found that folks who regularly consumed high levels of fish were nearly 20% less likely to have depression compared to folks who did not consume much fish.

Foods with omega-3 fats include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and trout

Folic Acid

Several studies have linked higher rates of depression in folks with lower levels of folic acid. This B-vitamin is used by the body to create serotonin, a feel-good chemical that helps you feel calm and relaxed.

Foods with folic acid include dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, oranges, sunflower seeds and lentils.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient for brain function and low levels may be linked to increased risk of depression. While our body can produce vitamin D from the sun, anywhere north of Los Angeles and Atlanta won’t have adequate exposure during the winter months.

Foods with vitamin D include Fortified milk, egg yolks, tuna, and salmon

Magnesium is an important mineral that is involved in mood regulation and has been linked to helping with depression. Low levels of this important mineral are associated with oxidative stress and increased inflammation, both which are association with depression.

Foods with magnesium include avocados, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains

If you still can’t kick the winter blues, you may find it helpful to reach out to a professional. More than 3 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) every year. Symptoms typically peak around the winter months and include fatigue, depression and social withdrawal. Talk therapy, medication and the use of a light therapy box are all used to help manage it. Also, don’t underestimate the power of sleep, exercise and daily access to sunlight, which are all proven ways to beating the blues anytime of the year.

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