Winter can come with its share of ups and downs. The festive season followed by a January low, what is common is the winter blues.
Don’t let all that wet, cold weather get you down. Here’s helping you stock your kitchen with top foods to help you stay on the sunny side of the season.
Boost your energy levels, brighten your spirits, immunity system and keep the feeling positive with these common foods.
- Chocolate: It stimulates the production of endorphins, the chemicals in the brain that give us perky feelings. It also boosts serotonin, the happy hormone which acts as a natural anti-depressant besides the antioxidants could help to lower stress hormones and anxiety. Include dark variety- 75% cocoa solids or higher.
Oily fish: The ultimate brain food, ideally included at least thrice a week. One of the finest source of omega-3, a vital mood-boosting fat, individuals deficient in omega-3 are more susceptible to low mood, anxiety and depression. Wild salmon- Richest source of vitamin D, a deficiency can lead to mood disorders including depression and seasonal affective disorder. Get any winter sun possible by outdoor exercises which can increase your amount of feel-good endorphins.
If you don’t eat fish include Chia seeds and Flaxseeds are a great source of plant source of omega-3, simply sprinkle it over porridge, soups and salads or steamed vegetables.
- Spinach: Fabulous green leafy vegetable is rich in folate, a B vitamin essential for the production of the brain mood-boosting chemicals serotonin and dopamine. It is also great for iron, vital for energy production in the body. Include 2 portions of spinach and other green leafy vegetables (like broccoli, cabbage, chard and kale) each day which are lightly steamed, and serve with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
- Oats: Begin your day with a bowl of porridge or muesli to stabilise mood. Decorate your porridge with berries, nuts and seeds which are bursting with mood-boosting antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Bananas: Loaded with tryptophan, carbohydrate and vitamin B6, which help in mood-lifting serotonin. Body requires tryptophan to make melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep cycle and ensures we have a good night’s sleep. Bananas provide magnesium, a deficiency in which is linked with depression, inattention and insomnia.
Indira Ray suggests, “Zero or minimal refined sugar or raw honey and coconut sugar, little or no dairy, chosen grains should be consumed. High nutrient vegetables, leafy greens, root vegetables, lean animal protein, fruit (in moderation), arugula over iceberg lettuce, enjoy beets, broccoli, peppers, and carrots in various veggie-centric dishes. Freshly-squeezed orange juice will give you that extra boost to lift your mood. Curcumin in turmeric can influence depression too. Add strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, hemp seeds, protein powder or an array of nuts like pecans and chopped walnuts. Include salmon, tuna, milk, fortified cereals, eggs, mushrooms, beef liver and pork are all effective in lifting the winter blues.”