Try These Foods to Help Banish the Winter Blues
Many folks have been feeling down since the pandemic began.
But if you've noticed your mood has taken a nosedive recently, you may be experiencing "winter blues."
This mood shift develops as the days become shorter and is quite common.
In fact, it's estimated that more than 10 million Americans suffer with winter blues each year.
Research suggests that the symptoms of feeling down seasonally may be due to changing levels of the vitamin D – the key vitamin your body produces after direct exposure from sunlight.
With shorter days, your body gets less sun exposure, and less opportunity to make vitamin D. As a result, your mood suffers.
Supplementing with vitamin D is one of the safest and easiest ways to increase levels of this critical nutrient... and lift your mood during darker months when you're not getting much sun exposure.
But that's not all you can do.
Beyond vitamin D, there are other natural ways to boost your spirits, starting with your diet.
Certain foods are known to naturally lift mood.
Like protein-rich foods.
Protein can be a great mood-boosting food to add to your diet.
But not just any protein.
Lean proteins, like chicken, turkey and grass-fed beef, are loaded with amino acids, like tryptophan, that have a positive effect on your mood.
What's more, lean proteins also rev up your energy levels, which is often something that wanes when you're feeling down.
Another great food if you're feeling blue? Chocolate.
This one shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
Chocolate has long been a go-to food for when we're feeling low.
But not every type of chocolate can provide a mood lift.
You need dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content to release endorphins that improve mood.
And remember, chocolate is high in calories, so experts only recommend consuming about a half ounce to an ounce daily.
You already know beans are good for your heart. But did you know they also do wonders for your mood?
You see, beans help boost levels of serotonin in your brain.
This "feel good" hormone is associated with lifting mood and promoting feelings of calm and focus.
Many folks think the hormones that impact mood live in our brain.
But serotonin's home is actually in our gut which is why foods that nourish the gut are key to keeping your mood up.
Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and miso are loaded with probiotics that can help keep your gut healthy... and your serotonin levels strong. If you've been feeling down, give some of these foods a try to help banish the blues, one bite at a time.