It’s definitely wintertime and putting the holidays to rest can be stressful and depressing, especially during the cold and gray winter months. Not to worry though, this is the time of year when eating your way to a better mood is actually acceptable! Well, that is if you are indulging in winter super foods that has been shown to fight depression and lift your spirits.
Topping the list are the ‘dark leafy greens’ that are at their nutritional peak during winter; such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and chard. These veggies are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which help to maintain the bodies sleep cycles, restore tired muscles and regulate stress hormones. Having one to two cups a day will help get you into a good mood, naturally.
Eating peas and greens is a New Year’s Day tradition in the south, but everyone might want to take part in it throughout the winter months this year. After all, a half a cup of ‘black eyed peas’ a day, paired with collard greens makes for a fiber rich, high folate, super food which works wonders to fight depression as well as bring good luck; according to the old Southern tradition.
Another winter miracle food high on the list is ‘mushrooms’. They are packed with niacin and riboflavin, both B vitamins that are known to increase good moods. Eating half a cup a day can help replenish your vitamin D supply during cold, dreary, winter months, naturally increasing your good mood.
Another great food to snack on this winter is ‘pumpkin seeds’. They are one of the richest sources of tryptophan. Tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin, which encourages happy and relaxed feelings. The best part is that pumpkin seeds are versatile, they can be added to salads, granola, or simply snacked on alone. Plus, they are a great on the go snack.
‘Walnuts’ are a typical holiday nut that contains omega-3 fatty acids, a good-for-you fat source that naturally boosts moods. Walnuts can also help you sleep better during cold winter nights. Remember, it is easy to over indulge in nuts, so keep your portions down to a handful or an ounce and a half.
Closing out our list of winter foods are ‘citrus fruits’, oranges and grapefruits more specifically. They are both in season during the winter and are excellent sources of Folate and vitamin C. Eating one or two citrus fruits a day will provide the most benefit in escalating a good mood.
If you’re looking for a way to bust out of the winter blues, look no further! As with any dietary changes, consult your physician first. Another great way to fight off the winter blues is exercise! That’s right, exercise is another natural way to boost your mood and fight depression. Log onto www.taebo.com and find a Tae Bo® Fitness class near you and kick the winter blues out of your day.