Top tips to help you stop feeling S.A.D.
November’s dark mornings and evenings, and energy levels fall meaning we can even feel less happy – current research has told us that food can definitely affect our mood as well as our energy levels so let’s look at some simple things you can do to prevent that S.A.D feeling!
When you are faced with a stressful situation, your body eagerly uses up the essential nutrients it needs, unless you replenish the stock, your stress symptoms, will continue longer than normal because you are depleted of the essential nutrients needed for optimum brain function.
Deficiencies in the following list of nutrients have all been linked to issues with our mental capacities:
B1 – Poor concentration
B3 – depression, stress
B5 – poor memory
B6 – depression, poor memory, irritability, stress
B12 – poor memory, confusion
Folic acid – anxiety, depression
Magnesium – anxiety, depression, irritability, stress, insomnia
Vitamin C – depression, stress
Selenium – depression, irritability
Zinc – depression, confusion, blank mind, loss of appetite, lack of motivation
Omega 3 – depression, poor memory
Tryptophan – depression
Vitamin E – stress and heart disease
(source: Mental Health Foundation)
Shopping list to improve our happiness
Brown rice (B1, B3, B5, B6, Selenium)
Porridge Oats (B1, B3, B5, B6, Selenium)
Walnuts (magnesium, Omega 3, tryptophan, zinc)
Brazil nuts (selenium)
Pumpkin seeds (magnesium, Omega 3, zinc)
Sunflower seeds (magnesium, omega 3, zinc and selenium)
Hemp oil (omega 3, 6 & 9)
Peppers (B1, B3, B5, B6, VC, Magnesium)
Broccoli (B1, B3, B5, B6, Magnesium)
Spinach (Folic Acid)
Bananas (B6, potassium, tryptophan)
Oranges (Vitamin C)
Chicken (B12, tryptophan)
Salmon (B12, Omega 3, Selenium, zinc)
Tuna (B12, Omega 3, selenium, zinc)
Natural yoghurts (B12)
Eggs and Marmite (B12)
Foods specifically for stress reduction:
Almonds A good source of Vitamin B2 and E, as well as magnesium, calcium and zinc. Vitamin E has been shown to fight the free radicals associated with stress, and in particular, those free radicals that cause heart disease.
DARK CHOCOLATE (Hurray!): A study published in the Journal of Proteome Research found that consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for a period of two weeks reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol our fight-or-flight hormones.
Vitamin D It is now estimated an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency affects one billion people. No one is exactly sure why apart from the fact that we spend too much time indoors and we lather sunscreen on ourselves outside. How much vitamin D you need varies with age, body weight, % of body fat, latitude, skin coloration, season of the year, use of sun block, individual variation in sun exposure, and – probably – how ill you are.
Deficiencies in Vitamin D can cause:
General muscle pain and weakness
High blood pressure
Constipation or diarrhoea and much more
How to increase your uptake of Vitamin D naturally:
Wild salmon, Fresh mackerel or sardines
Tinned tuna in oil
Free range eggs
Organic beef liver
Alternatively please see a qualified therapist for a supplement and further advice.
Yoga can, of course, help with SAD and low energy and yoga backbends are perfect for this! Why not try Upward Facing Dog Pose (if you have a dog you will be familiar with how brill they are at stretching!)