Eating healthy foods can help support our mental health and wellbeing. Eating nutrient-rich foods gives our brains the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy and balanced, helping us to better manage stress, improve mood, and boost energy levels. Additionally, certain foods like dark chocolate, walnuts, blueberries, salmon, and other superfoods contain naturally occurring compounds that have been linked to improved mood and cognitive functioning.
Here are some foods to help with depression:
- Oatmeal – Rich in fiber, oatmeal helps to release serotonin which boosts mood and wards off the winter blues.
- Dark Chocolate – Full of antioxidants, dark chocolate helps to reduce stress levels brought on by the winter weather.
- Berries – Berries are packed with vitamin C, helping to naturally boost your immune system and improve your overall wellbeing.
- Nuts & Seeds – High in essential fatty acids, nuts and seeds help to improve mental clarity and focus during the duller days of winter.
- Ginger Tea – Ginger tea is a popular comfort food that can warm you up from the inside out while also easing stress levels.
Here are 5 Quick Snacks to help with depression:
- Hummus & Veggies – The protein in hummus helps to stabilize your blood sugar, while veggies provide a much-needed burst of vitamins and minerals.
- Trail Mix – Packed with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and even dark chocolate, trail mix can provide a satisfying snack that’s full of energy-boosting ingredients.
- Yogurt & Berries – Yogurt is an easy source of probiotics which help to boost your immune system during the winter months. Add some antioxidant-rich berries for a perfect snack combination!
- Avocado Toast – Avocados are rich in healthy fats and fiber, helping to improve mood and keep hunger at bay. Top it off on toast with some olive oil and salt for an unbeatable snack!
- Popcorn – Popcorn is high in fiber, low in calories and it’s naturally gluten-free making it a great snack option for winter days when you need an energy boost!
It’s common to feel a bit “blue” during the winter months due to a lack of sunlight. The decreased daylight hours can lead to reduced serotonin levels, which can lead to feelings of depression and fatigue. Additionally, colder temperatures tend to limit activity levels, leading many people to become more sedentary during this time. This can exacerbate existing depression or cause new symptoms.
In conclusion, while feeling “blue” during January is normal, there are simple changes that we can make to help support our mental health. Eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods and getting adequate amounts of sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve mood. Doing regular physical activity and participating in activities like yoga or mindfulness can also be beneficial for emotional wellbeing.
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