Winter blues set in? You’re not alone. This time of year, shorter days, less sunlight and heavier foods combine to create a less positive outlook. Eating regularly is important to keep blood sugar levels stable (no more “hangry” moments); and including the top nutrients needed to combat seasonal doldrums such as omega-3s, complex carbohydrates, vitamin D, B vitamins, protein and iron, are simple and effective ways to give you that summer smile even on the coldest winter day.
Quinoa contains a range of B vitamins, and, when in low supply, can impeded production of serotonin. This multitalented grain-like seed also delivers complex carbohydrates for even more mood-boosting action.
Wild salmon is rich in omega-3s, healthy fats that support proper brain chemistry for happiness, no matter the time of year. Studies provide evidence that omega-3-rich fish, like salmon, can help iron out unhappiness and ease symptoms of depression. Enjoy salmon, tuna, anchovies and herring once or twice a week as a lean, mood-lifting protein option.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Raw, unsalted green pumpkin seeds (sometimes called, “pepitas”) are a source of zinc, a mineral needed for brain health, production of energy, regulated appetite and a stable mood.
Iron deficiency can present itself as fatigue and lack of interest in everyday things. Spinach is a source of plant-based (non-heme) iron, helping to naturally increase your energy levels. And this mild, tender, dark leafy green is full of mood-boosting B vitamins, for even stronger armour against seasonal lulls.
Check out this Braav dish with spinach!
Oats aren’t just a warm and cozy way to start a winter morning, they can also help to regulate your mood. Their low glycemic index keeps blood sugar levels stable until noon, so you avoid getting “hangry.” They’re also a source of mood-boosting selenium. Be sure to choose large-flake or steel-cut oats for the most nutritious option.
A tried and true mood-lifting food, bananas are both perennially available and greatly affordable. Bananas contain complex carbohydrates and are a particularly good source of vitamin B6, needed to convert tryptophan to serotonin, your stay-happy neurotransmitter.