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Food to help with the Winter blues

Food to help with the Winter blues
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Winter can be cold, dark and pretty bleak. If the short days and chilly temperatures are making you feel pretty much the same, then you may be tempted to reach for some comfort food. But before you do, consider eating some of these foods instead. Tipped to help keep the blues at bay, these are the foods you should be adding to your shopping basket during the winter months.

Vitamin C

We all know how vitamin C can help boost immunity to colds and other nasty winter ailments but it also has mood boosting properties that help fight anxiety and increase energy levels. As well as the obvious citrus fruits, vitamin C can be found in most green vegetables.

Vitamin D

Known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’ it’s easy to understand why vitamin D might help us feel a little brighter during the winter. Vitamin D is usually, and most effectively, absorbed through our skin from sunlight so obviously in winter our stores can become somewhat depleted. Foods containing most vitamin D include fatty fish such as tuna or salmon, cod liver oil and egg yolk. Milk is another good source but make sure it’s low in fat.

B Vitamins

B vitamins including B3 and folate (folic acid) help support good mental health and have the added bonus of helping to fight infections. To get a boost of B vitamins eat egg or oats for breakfast, snack on Brazil nuts and have avocado with dinner.

Omega-3 fatty acids

These are fatty acids that the body can’t produce on its own but are essential for healthy metabolic function. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you eat plenty of them. Wild salmon, sardines, nuts, seeds and spinach are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Food to help with the Winter blues

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote good sleeping patterns. Not getting enough magnesium from your diet can decrease the production of mood-enhancing chemicals serotonin and melatonin. Foods high in magnesium include bananas, leafy greens and low-fat yoghurt. For a treat, dark chocolate is another good choice.

Lean proteins

Lean proteins contain amino acids, such as tyrosine, that have a positive effect on the chemicals in the brain that control moods. They also boost energy levels, which helps combat fatigue. Chicken, turkey, eggs, low-fat dairy products and beans are great ways to fill up on lean proteins.

Carbohydrates

This isn’t an excuse to pig out on doughnuts and cakes! To get the most from carbs you need to be eating the right kind. Carbohydrates help the body produce a chemical called serotonin, which helps us feel good. Healthy carbohydrates include brown rice, potatoes and lentils. As well as producing the right level of serotonin, these foods also fill you up, meaning you’ll be less tempted to snack in the evenings.

Snacks

Eating lunch at noon then dinner at 6pm will have you reaching for the chocolate to curb the mid-afternoon slump. However, that will do nothing but make your mood even worse. Keep a stash of more healthy snacks handy to see you through to dinnertime. Things like popcorn, wholegrain crackers, cottage cheese and fruit are ideal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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