The 'Winter Blues', also known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is caused by lack of sunlight. In Australia we are not subjected to the reduced daylight hours that some of our northern hemisphere friends are, but many Australians still experience lowered mood, energy and vitality during our Winter months.
Couple this with the added layer of Corona-restrictions and their subsequent disruption to our lives, it can really compound the effects on our mood.
If reduced sunlight affects you in Winter, incorporate the following foods and nutrients to stay vital and happy.
Eat Foods To Boost Your Mood
Tryptophan is an amino acid which helps your body produce serotonin; that feel-good, mood-boosting neurotransmitter.
Foods containing tryptophan include: milk, chicken, beef, brown rice, fish, eggs, nuts, bananas and vegetables. Combining these with complex carbohydrates will help increase its absorption.
Also ensure you are getting sufficient amounts of B-group vitamins (especially B3) so your body won’t end up expending large amounts of precious tryptophan to replace the missing vitamin
b) Omega- 3 Essential Fatty Acids
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are crucial in aiding the transmission of nerve impulses needed for normal brain function and optimal mood.
Foods rich in Omega 3’s include oily fish, raw nuts (especially walnuts) and seeds (especially chia seeds and linseeds). Oily fish such as fresh salmon & tuna should be ideally eaten 3 times a week to boost Omega 3 fatty acids and optimise mood.
However, fish-oil (or plant-based omega-3) supplementation may be a preferred option with the concern of heavy metals and plastic contaminants that are increasingly polluting our Oceans.
c) Quality protein
Ensuring you are eating quality protein in every meal is important for healthy neurotransmitter production.
Protein also helps regulate blood sugar. It is tempting to indulge in quick & easy refined comfort foods, such as pasta, white rice, chocolate and sweet treats when we are feeling a bit low. Let’s face it we’ve all succumbed to it from time to time. But eaten regularly these foods promote unstable blood sugar levels and weight gain which can further contribute to lowered mood, energy and vitality.
d) Vitamin D
There is increasing evidence that Vitamin D plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy nervous system. Studies are now showing an association between reduced sun exposure and mental illness. Eggs, butter and oily fish are good food sources however supplementation of a liquid or liposomal Vitamin D may be necessary if you are deficient in this vital Vitamin.
Supplements to Boost Mood & Cellular Energy
Our brain accounts for about two percent of our body weight but uses 20-25% of our total energy. Suffice to say when our mood is low our energy is low, because energy is re-distributed in stress and depression.
When we healthy we have deep energy reserves so when exposed to stress we can draw on these energy reserves to “cope” with this stress. Therefore, we have the resilience to deal with incoming stress effectively.
However, people who have reduced energy reserves have a lower resilience and thus a lower ability to cope and are more susceptible to lowered mood and depression.
Studies show people who are depressed have 26% less energy and so it is very important to look after our ‘mitochondria’ or energy making cells.
Our Top 3 Base-line Nutrients for Cellular Energy
Magnesium is a critical ingredient for energy production and what’s more acute stress increases urinary magnesium excretion. Therefore in times of acute and chronic stress our requirement for magnesium is increased. Further studies reveal low magnesium is linked to lowered mood and depression. Supplementation of a quality magnesium is vital for lowered energy.
The B-group vitamins are critical for every step of our energy production cycle and they are a cost-effective way to off-set work stress. A twelve week study conducted in 2011 showed significant improvements in depression, fatigue, confusion and tension when participants took a Vitamin B supplement every morning.
Our mitochondria are often referred to as the “powerhouse” of the cell and are responsible for creating our energy.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is central to fatigue and emerging leaders in Complementary medicine believe that mitochondrial therapy is the future of Holistic medicine.
Co-Enzyme Q10 or Ubiquinol which is the preferred form, is essential for energy production.
Our Key Herbs for Stress, Lowered Mood and Anxiety
There are many beautiful “nervine” herbs we use to nurture, nourish and protect our nervous systems during periods of stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression.
●SAMe, St John’s wort, Rhodiola, Turmeric and Saffron are our core mood formula nutrients for depression and lowered mood.
●Ziziphus, Passionflower, Kudzu and Magnolia are beautiful herbs for anxiety and nervous tension.
●California Poppy, Passionflower, Ziziphus and Lavender are great herbs for insomnia
●Probiotics - serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, balance mood and inhibit pain. About 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut and is highly influenced by the billions of “good” bacteria that reside there and so a quality probiotic is critical for optimal mood and mental health. Ask our professionals in-store which probiotic is best suited for you.
Get the Best Advice from Qualified Practitioners
If you need some Practitioner help to help with lowered mood, anxiety or energy, now is the time to book a professional consultation with the Mammoth Health Naturopaths.
By working on your individual health needs, our Practitioner team experience great success in addressing underlying causes and achieving optimal health and vitality for our patients.
Consultations are available daily at our In-store Clinics. Book your Consultation Now
“Because it’s Not a Rehearsal”
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