Jan
28

Foods to Beat Winter Blues

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The sky gets darker. The days get shorter. It’s cold outside and you’re cooped up. It’s no wonder that so many people suffer from the winter blues. Worse, when you’re cooped up inside and feeling down, you may turn to foods that simply don’t help. The good news is that there are tasty foods that can help you beat the winter blues.

Vitamins and Nutrients to Look For

When you’re at the supermarket and looking at your options, choose foods that contain:

* Vitamin D – Vitamin D has been shown to prevent and reduce depression in some individuals. A deficiency in this vitamin is also linked to a number of illnesses and conditions including diabetes.

* Vitamin B – the vitamin B complex helps your body manage stress optimally. It also boosts your immune system.

* Folate – Folic acid helps regulate your blood flow. It also assists with sleep. Better sleep means a better ability to manage stress and control emotions. It means better physical and mental health.

* Omega Fatty Acids – Fatty acids reduce inflammation in your body and your brain. Studies have shown that people who experience winter depression are often low in omega fatty acids.

* Protein – Protein helps keep your blood sugar levels even. This means consistent energy throughout the day. Try to eat protein at every meal.

Foods to Add to Your Winter Shopping Cart

* Salmon – Salmon is rich in vitamin D and omega fatty acids. It’s also protein. And salmon isn’t the only fish that contains these blues-busting nutrients. Mackerel and other cold-water fish do too. If you don’t like fish, eat plenty of nuts and seeds. They’re rich in protein.

* Lentils and legumes – Lentils are rich in folate. They also have a number of B vitamins which help you manage stress.

* Brown rice – Brown rice is packed with B vitamins and it’s a great source of fiber. It’ll keep your body feeling full and your blood sugar even.

* Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale – Dark leafy greens contain a multitude of vitamins. They’re also a good source of fiber. Try to include at least one serving of dark leafy greens every day.

Also consider:

* Dark chocolate
* Vitamin D enriched milk or soymilk
* Whole grain enriched breakfast cereals
* Green tea

Steer clear of a diet that contains a lot of starchy carbs, white flour and sugar. These can cause inflammation, blood sugar spikes and low energy. Take care of your body and your mind this winter. Beat the blues by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy. Plan ahead and pack your cupboards and refrigerator with blues-busting foods this winter.

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