This time of year a lot of people start to have SAD, or feel generally low, especially with all the rain we are getting at the moment, when the sun does appear it feels lovely but the nights are dark and cold so it’s easy to see how we feel less happy, low, or depressed!
We turn to “comfort foods” those that make us feel happier but in that, these comfort foods tend to be be high in sugar and saturated fats!
Over the years it has been discovered in research that eating the right foods could help!
It has been found that we can make a variety of lifestyle changes to help manage anxiety & depression Eating a diet high in vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, and lean protein can be helpful.
By eating healthy foods that fill up and have certain anti oxdidants and vitamins which can benefit mind and body.
Of course there is more to it than food but by starting to think about what could help and by adding it into the daily menu improvements could be felt in general wellbeing.
Listed below are some of the “Super super foods” that help improve mood, reduce inflammation and contain sources of necessary nutrients and anti-oxidants.
Brazil nuts contain selenium, which may help to improve mood.Brazil nuts are high in selenium.
Selenium may improve mood by reducing inflammation, which is often at heightened levels when someone has a mood disorder, such as anxiety.
Selenium is also an antioxidant, which helps prevent cell damage.
Other nuts, animal products, and vegetables, such as mushrooms and soybeans, are an excellent source of selenium.
It is important not to consume too much selenium as it can cause side effects. The recommended upper limit for selenium for an adult is 400 micrograms (mcg) per day. So be careful not to take supplements with high doses or eat more than a three to four Brazil nuts a day.
Brazil nuts and other nuts are also a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant.
Antioxidants can be beneficial for treating anxiety, while some research has shown that low levels of vitamin E may lead to depression in some people.
Researchers are increasingly linking vitamin D deficiency to mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
Vitamin D may also improve seasonal disaffected disorder (SAD) during winter.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate electrolyte balance and manage blood pressure.
Eating potassium-rich foods such, as pumpkin seeds or bananas, may help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of the mineral zinc.
Zinc is essential for brain and nerve development.
The largest storage sites of zinc in the body are in the brain regions involved with emotions.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian and South-East Asian cooking. This is a non heat giving spice so is perfect to add in to ALL regimes including those that have problems with the digestive system.
The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. Curcumin may help lower anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that often increase in people experiencing mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
A 2015 study found that curcumin reduced anxiety in obese adults.
Another study found that an increase of curcumin in the diet also increased DHA and reduced anxiety.
Turmeric is easy to add to meals. It has minimal flavor, so goes well in smoothies, curries, and casserole dishes.
Many people around the world use chamomile tea as an herbal remedy because of its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and relaxant properties.
Some people believe that the relaxant and anti-anxiety properties come from the flavonoids present in chamomile.
A recent study found that chamomile did reduce anxiety symptoms. However, it did not prevent new episodes of anxiety.
Chamomile tea may be useful in managing anxiety. It is readily available and safe to use in high doses.
Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine which is receiving increasing scrutiny due to its potential effects on mood disorders.
Theanine has anti-anxiety and calming effects and may increase the production of serotonin and dopamine.
Green tea is easy to add to the day-to-day diet. It is a suitable replacement for soft drinks, coffee, and alcoholic beverages.
Swiss chard contains magnesium, which may help to ease anxiety.
Eat a varied and balanced diet with high quality, nutrient-dense carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Aim for whole foods, vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, and especially fish.
You can also include:
tryptophan-containing foods Turkey, cheese, pineapple, bananas, oats, and tofu.
Chia seeds are also a good source of omega-3s.
Protein sources, such as lean meat, fish, nuts, and dairy all provide amino acids, which the body converts into the mood-lifting neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.
Spinach and Swiss chard are both high in magnesium.
Cinnamon provides anti-inflammatory propertiesEvidence increasingly shows that diets high in processed foods can increase anxiety.
Eating a healthy diet should provide all the nutrients needed for healthy brain function.
A diet that contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as vitamins and minerals might help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Reducing foods that are high in added sugar, salt, and fats especially trans fats may help also help reduce inflammation.
Reduce alcohol, sugar, and coffee as these may increase episodes of anxiety and the associated symptoms.
Eating good foods and adding exercise that will help induce sleep is an important factor as we need a good sleep to function on a daily basis.
Also let’s include participating in enjoyable physical activity which may also have a positive effect on mental health.
And of course the all important “self-care” prioritising YOU is part of being healthy in body and mind!
This includes taking time out and away from the home, whether it be at a local crafting class or enjoying a nice relaxing Holistic Therapy….
If I can be of further help, then please do contact me.