12 Feel-Good Foods To Combat Seasonal Depression

Date December 29, 2017

Many of us find ourselves feeling particularly blue in cold months. One of the reasons for such mood is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly known as seasonal depression. It usually manifests in feeling sad and tired, sleeping more, and impaired concentration and memory.

Many people take medicines that help improve this condition, but eating a healthy diet is just as important to keep your spirits up. There are foods that can make you feel more energetic and improve your mood in cold month and throughout the year. Here are some of them:

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is perfect for a nutritious breakfast to start your day. It’s a low-calorie, low GI grain that is rich in fiber and important minerals, including selenium. The less processed the grain is, the healthier it is, so choose steel-cut oats, not instant ones. Put some berries or fruits in your oatmeal for taste and added benefits.

2. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is relatively low-calorie and is rich in proteins, vitamin B12, and calcium and other minerals. This soft cheese also makes a good breakfast and tastes great with berries and fruits.

3. Yoghurt

Yoghurt and its lesser-known relative, kefir, improve digestion and increase the amount of good bacteria in your intestines. Gut health is closely linked to mood; this is why yoghurt can have a positive effect on your state of mind.

4. Bananas

Bananas are easy to add to your diet. This super-fruit contains tryptophan, a chemical that can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. It’s also an excellent source of potassium and another important mineral, magnesium, that helps fight depression and anxiety and improves sleep.

5. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has long been known to improve brain function. It stimulates the release of endorphins which are your body’s feel-good chemicals. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants. To get the most benefits, choose chocolate with cocoa content of 70% or higher.

6. Cocoa

Hot cocoa is a perfect drink to lift your mood and keep you warm in cold months. It usually contains cocoa, which is rich in antioxidants, and milk, which is rich in calcium and vitamin B12. Another traditional ingredient of hot cocoa is sugar, which is not very healthful, but won’t do much harm if you don’t exceed the recommended amount.

7. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is another drink to help you stay warm and lift your spirits. Drinking such tea in the evening can improve your sleep, and it also has a positive effect on your cognitive function. Chamomile infusions can even help relieve depression and anxiety to some extent.

8. Bell peppers

Bell peppers can be enjoyed on their own or in a stir-fry or salad. Eat bell peppers raw to get the most of them. There is evidence that of all colors of bell peppers, red-colored ones are the most beneficial. They contain lots of vitamin C and other vitamins and nutrients that can help improve the function of your immune system and boost your mood.

9. Blueberries

These dark berries are low in calories and rich in vitamin C and vitamin K. Blueberries also contain antioxidants that help reduce the risk of many health problems, including heart disease. Blueberries are beneficial for brain function and can elevate your mood. These berries are an excellent snack and can also be added to smoothies, salads, porridge, and sweet stuffings.

10. Lentils

Lentils are one of the best plant sources of protein. They also contain various important minerals, including iron. Lentils are also rich in folate that plays an important role in brain development and function. There is a variety of recipes in which lentils are the main ingredient.

11. Walnuts

Walnuts are an excellent plant source of omega-3s, healthful fats that can improve mood and brain function. You can eat walnuts on their own or add them to other foods, such as salads and porridge.

12. Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green that is high in antioxidants and iron. Adequate iron intake can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia that can manifest in weakness, tiredness, and depression, among other symptoms.

Source: HealthLine, Food Network Canada, WebMD, Huffington Post

READ ALSO: 5 Health Benefits Of Chocolate: From Relieving Cough To Improving Heart Health

This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.