5 Foods That Help Fight Seasonal Depression

Are the winter blues driving you crazy? Do you feel yourself affected by the loss of sunlight? Are you especially fatigued, moody, irritable, reluctant to get out of bed during those months? If you prefer to handle these symptoms without the use of medication, diet and exercise can be a great way to manage them. Here are some foods that researchers have found to be helpful when handling seasonal depression.5 Foods That Help Fight Seasonal Depression

1. Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid

Researchers have found a link between depression and a lack of vitamin B-12 and folic acid. Good sources of folic acid include leafy greens such as broccoli, as well as beans and lentils. Vitamin B-12 can be found in meat and fish — liver and clams contain especially high levels.

2. Selenium

Vital to brain function and also useful in lifting the mood of people suffering from depression, selenium is a mineral that may be able to help you.  Since this is a trace mineral, you only need 55 micrograms of selenium per day. A great way to get this nutrient is through diet — meat, fish, and legumes are all great sources.

3. Fish

The number one advantage of eating fish is the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids it contains. The benefit of this cannot be overstated. Although the effect of omega-3s on the brain is still a bit of a mystery, researchers have found that a high intake of omega-3s in a person’s diet dramatically decreases feelings of depression and anxiety.

4. Fruits and Veggies

Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that your body needs to feel its best. The natural sugars that you get from eating fruit are considerably better for you than artificial sugars — sugary treats will bring you up temporarily and then send you crashing right back down, leaving you feeling tired and unmotivated. The natural sugars in fruit are absorbed slowly by your body and give you a more even-keeled energy flow. Fruits and vegetables also contain phytonutrients and fiber, which offer additional health benefits.

The combination of nutrients that are found in fruits and vegetables may be just what your body needs to help fight seasonal depression.

5. Vitamin D

The best source of vitamin D, of course, is the sun. In winter, however, with shorter, colder days, it’s hard to get the sunlight that you need. The best dietary sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel. Another good source is milk. However, it can be difficult to get the needed amount of vitamin D from your diet, so if you believe you may be severely deficient, get tested, and discuss using a supplement with your doctor.

The winter months can be a hard time for anyone to get through, but if you suffer from seasonal depression (SAD), then you feel it even more acutely. Don’t suffer needlessly. These slight changes in diet, as well as regular exercise, might be just what you need.

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