01 09 10 Tweet Dietitians Eat Chocolate Too: When Winter Can Go Fork Itself: Eating To Beat The Winter Blues

Monday, February 17, 2014

When Winter Can Go Fork Itself: Eating To Beat The Winter Blues

This winter has been miserable.  My mood has corresponded with it accordingly.  The sun comes out once a week.  It's cold, my car slides along the roads, and a load of freezing rain is hitting up against the windows.  I am a sad, sad person.  So as a proactive dietitian would, I Googled alternative treatments to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to see if I can lift my spirits.  

Snowmageddon 2010
  • Improve your diet, simple carbohydrates (found in white sugar, white flour products) may boost your mood temporarily, but come with a crash and unintended weight gain.
    • Instead, eat more complex carbohydrates such as: whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or sweet potatoes.
  • Go fishing around...Omega-3 fatty acids can't be made by the body, researchers are looking at different links to low levels of Omega-3s and depression.  Get natural sources from Chia seeds, Flax seeds, salmon, sardines, and supplements.
  • Vitamin D.  This is formerly known as the 'sunshine' vitamin.  Well, we're lacking the sun right now.  You can get it from fortified cereals, milk, and mushrooms, but you're really better off taking a supplement (with your doctor's OK) to make sure you meet your needs.  
  • Work it.  Exercise has proven benefits for elevating the mood.  I've actually been doing CrossFit (after bashing it a few months ago) and honestly, it's helped with getting me results and saving some sanity.
Granted, during this most recent ice storm, I'm still in my PJs in a glum mood, but knowing Spring is a mere 30 days away gives some hope.