Are you wondering how to ease the winter blues? Try these five superfoods that may improve your mood.
Have you noticed that you often feel low during the colder months? Turns out, there is a scientific reason for that. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is believed to be brought on by the changing seasons. Usually, symptoms start to get worse around fall and peak in the winter. Feelings of hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, social withdrawal, and exhaustion are among the symptoms of SAD that are comparable to those of other types of depression. Luckily, there are a few superfoods that may help you beat the winter blues.
Did you know stress wears you out physically and exacerbates the symptoms of depression? The release of cortisol, a hormone created by the adrenal gland, can be inhibited by eating blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Berries also seem to have effects that are comparable to those of the mood-stabilizing drug valproic acid, which helps regulate emotions. Therefore, keep snacking on these delicious berries during the colder months to help keep the winter blues away.
A hot cup of tomato soup is everyone’s favorite in the colder months. But did you know that it can also improve your mood? Lycopene, a fat-soluble phytonutrient that has many health benefits, is found in abundance in tomatoes. Lycopene, as proven by a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, is associated with a lower rate of depressive symptoms. That's in part because lycopene can actually slow or stop the accumulation of pro-inflammatory compounds, which are frequently associated with depression. Additionally, tomatoes have folic acid, which can stop the body from producing too much homocysteine, which limits the production of critical neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.
Help ease the winter blues by adding moringa to your diet. Being a natural adaptogen, moringa aids in balancing cortisol levels to help the body become more resilient to the effects of stress. According to a study conducted on rats in 2014, moringa had a significant anxiolytic effect on rats through multiple mechanisms. Additionally, the ethanolic extract found in moringa leaves can increase levels of GABA, dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Low dopamine levels are associated with anxiety, and these three neurotransmitters have been specifically linked to anxiety-related disorders.
Did you know that your favorite avocado toast may help you ease the winter blues? Avocados are full of B vitamins and potassium. According to the British Journal of Nutrition, these nutrients lower your blood pressure and increase your serotonin levels. Avocados are also a good source of folate, which, according to research, may aid in reducing the symptoms of depression. So, load up on avocados to keep feeling your best on those gloomy winter days.
Consuming warm, heated nuts like almonds and walnuts frequently during the winter months ensures a healthy nervous system and supports heart and mental well-being. Walnuts are one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. It is a good idea to snack on walnuts between meals as they can keep the winter blues at bay by improving brain function and significantly reducing symptoms of depression. A University of Pittsburgh study discovered that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to experience mild or moderate depressive symptoms.