Mood boosting foods to banish the winter blues … our guide
As we roll into winter, you may find that the shorter and colder days can impact your mood. There are some natural ways to improve your sense of well-being during the winter months, so be sure to include these foods as part of your diet to help fight the winter blues.
We all know that leafy greens like spinach and kale are good for us because they contain essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients like vitamin K, magnesium, folate and calcium. Folate in particular, has been shown to improve depression, so there’s another reason to follow the age-old advice to “eat your greens”.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a fat-soluble phytonutrient that can slow or stop the build-up of inflammatory compounds that are linked to depression. And there’s no better time of year to enjoy a hearty bowl of tomato soup, so eat up knowing that you are getting a healthy dose of lycopene.
Want to boost your serotonin levels and lower your blood pressure? Grab an avocado. Rich in B vitamins and potassium, avocados will help stabilise your mood, so now you’ve got the perfect excuse for another serve of smashed avo on sourdough.
Have you noticed that when you’re feeling stressed you crave high-carb foods (think hot chips)? The reason is that carbs increase serotonin levels which help to control your mood. Choosing complex carbs like sweet potatoes or butternut pumpkin will boost your serotonin levels in a nutritionally sensible way without the guilt of indulging in deep fried potato chips.
Vitamin D is essential for mood and a lack of sunshine during winter means that our bodies can be deprived of it. Fresh salmon is naturally high in vitamin D so it is the perfect way to up your intake.
Perfect for everyone, but especially great for vegans, walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids just like salmon. Eating walnuts has been demonstrated to support brain function and reduce symptom of depression.