Do you ever wake up on a cold winter morning and everything around you feels unpleasant? Well, as real as it is, seasonal depression can push you into a dark place. However, just like every other problem has a cure, you can treat depression that comes along with the season!
Asma Alam, a Consulting Nutritionist and Dietitian, spoke to HealthShots about what this lesser known seasonal depression is and how it affects a person.
“Seasonal affective disorder, commonly known as SAD is a form of depression that is known to be caused as a result of a change in seasons. Generally, symptoms worsen near the fall and peak around the cold months. Its symptoms are quite similar to other states of depression, that include social withdrawal, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and a feeling of hopelessness.”
Treatments for seasonal depression may include exercise, talk therapies, consuming a healthy diet and medication. However, Alam suggests trying certain mood-boosting foods or meals can also help you feel better. These small alterations in the diet are delicious and can improve your mood too .
To all the Charlie’s in the chocolate factory, chocolates are one of the tasty, easy ways to self medicate in tough times.But, opting for any chocolate bar or chocolate flavoured ice-cream isn’t really going to cut the misery.
However, consuming dark chocolates can notably improve mood. “They also contain polyphenols which are a type of potent antioxidant. Simply, nibble on a dark chocolate bar with the highest cocoa content when you’re feeling low,” says Alam.
These healthy fats have been applauded for their health benefits for centuries now. But do you know that Omega-3 has the power to influence your mood too? That’s true! Alam suggests enjoying salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds when you’re feeling low. These are the best sources that can provide you with the highest levels of these fatty acids.
Ever wondered why Minions are always merry? Bananas contain amino acid, tryptophan which is a great mood booster. Moreover, the carbs, potassium and natural sugar in bananas helps in fueling the brain. Magnesium, another essential macronutrient in bananas, might help enhance sleep quality alongside reducing anxiety levels. These are the two common symptoms of seasonal depression.
Well, sugar and spice is not everything nice! Sugar might be a happy boost for you at first, but studies reveal that high intake of sugar can change your brain functionally. Too much sugar is associated with slowing your brain down. It is always a safe gamble to keep your sugar intakes low, especially when you’re experiencing depression.
Once you start noticing the food labels for ingredients, you will witness several forms of sugar. These appear in the form of syrups and sometimes as words that end with ‘-ose.’ If you spot them, drop them!
Low levels of cobalamin in blood are often linked to depression. There are a number of ways to incorporate vitamin B12 in your diet. Food sources of this vitamin include milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs as well as fortified food products like cereals. Include them in your diet for a quick mood elevator.
Mental health issues largely remain a hush-hush subject. If you’re feeling the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms, speak to a friend or seek medical help. You will conquer it too, just breathe!