Fight SAD-ness with Food!

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It may be the most wonderful time of the year but sometimes with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays it can truly feel like the worst. We’re more lethargic than normal, maybe even a bit achy at times and often just as gloomy as the stormy weather outside. So what’s up with all the holiday doom and gloom? Don’t worry – you’re not turning into Ebenezer Scrooge. You’re more than likely suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or aptly referred to as SAD, and you’re not alone. Over 20% of the entire population suffers from it too. SAD occurs most frequently in the winter months or in locations where sunlight is a bit scarce. The lack of sunshine also means a lack of Vitamin D absorption which in turn, means a change in the release of other chemicals in our body that are necessary for those good moods and emotional balance.  As a result of SAD we feel glum, too pooped to party, maybe crave more sugar, starch and sleep than usual and almost always become a shadow of our normally chipper or balanced selves.  So how do we get over this ‘holiday frump hump’ without a script for Xanax? If you can’t get your daily dose of sunshine, here are a few tasty options that will tickle your tastebuds while brightening your mood.

imageFoods Naturally High in Vitamin D and/or Boost Energy & Mood Naturally:

  • Liver
  • Salmon
  • Vitamin D fortified whole milk
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Egg yolk
  • Spinach
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Salmon
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole Grains

In addition to Vitamin D and Omega 3 rich foods, fresh fruits are the best ‘happy makers’ when it comes to fighting gloominess naturally. Because they contain the best natural sugar for the body to process (and all bodies need some sugar, honey) fresh fruits are muy importante. Fruits also help with hydration and are full of essential nutrients that are not found in anything other than fresh fruits.

colorful ripe fruit composition isolated on white“Happy Making” Fresh Fruit Options

  • Dates
  • Papaya
  • Bananas (good for potassium too!)
  • Strawberries (increases  memory retention too!)
  • Mangos
  • Pineapple
  • Grapefruit
  • Guava
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Apples

Of course this leaves us with the three WORST enemies in the fight to take on the holidays with a smile. Sadly, they are also some of the staples we run to to survive the holidays. CAFFEINE, PROCESSED SUGAR and WHITE FLOUR  are ALL no bueno when trying to keep your mood in check naturally (Go figure!) and you should do your best to stay clear of them when you feel down in the dumps. So when the endless glasses of vino and Bridget Jones marathons are no longer working and sunshine or  fresh air aren’t an option, you now have a few more delicious, all natural options to help you get your super smile back from frown town. Now that’s the making of a jolly holiday, indeed!

Images: UREC/CheckCity

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2 responses to Fight SAD-ness with Food!

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