Winter Blues: Medication, dietary changes may help alleviate SAD
Ever felt low during the cold winter months? You're not alone. Winter blues is a condition that affects scores of people when the weather is cold. It is characterized by a depressive phase that is brought on by a dip in temperatures and it affects people the same time every year. It is usually self-diagnosable and no lab tests or imaging is required for you to know whether or not you have it. Winter blues usually last for weeks or months and are usually resolved at the end of the cold months and it is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder in technical terms. Recently, a study Published in the Open Access Journal of Behavioural Science and Psychology said that winter blues are more likely to affect people with darker eyes, which means people with black or brown eyes may be more susceptible to feeling low and depressed during winters.
Other symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD include feelings of hopelessness, sadness, fatigue and social withdrawal, and in some cases even weight gain. Thankfully, you can approach a qualified health professional to help manage the symptoms of winter blues. Some ways of managing winter blues include regular exercise, meditation and yoga, as well as small lifestyle changes, which include adding certain foods to your daily diet.
Also Read: Food And Mood: 10 Foods That Can Cheer You Up On A Bad Day
Winter blues may lead to depression, feelings of hopelessness
Here are some foods that you can include in your diet to alleviate symptoms of winter blues (SAD):
1. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in a number of important nutrients, including selenium and iron. Studies have suggested that low mood and depression may be linked to a deficiency of selenium, while a deficiency of iron leads to lethargy and fatigue. Brazil nuts are quite rich in selenium and may be included in your winter diet to beat the blues.
2. Fish and Meat
Fish like salmon, mackerel are fortified with Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin D and other important vitamins and minerals, which may all help in boosting mood and regulating SAD. Lower levels of vitamin D have been linked with depression, prompting health experts to suggest including fish and meats in winter diets. Meat and fish are also rich in vitamin B12, which is responsible for releasing energy and beating lethargy.
3. Green Peas
Green peas are a winter food that must be included in your diet, due to the presence of iron and folate in them. A deficiency of folate or folic acid may increase your chances of depression and low mood. Folate is basically a B vitamin which helps in keeping red blood cells healthy and keeping SAD at bay.
4. Milk and Cheese
Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are rich in all essential nutrients which fight winter blues, including B vitamins, vitamin D and iron. Some dairy products are especially fortified with vitamin D, in order to supply the body with the sunshine vitamin. So make sure to check the label on the back of your packaged dairy products.
5. Broccoli and Spinach
Green leafy veggies are anyway great for overall health, but broccoli and spinach are particularly helpful in keeping symptoms of winter blues at bay, due to the presence of folate in them. They also contain iron in them. So go ahead and eat your greens this winter!
Winter blues aren't something to be taken lightly. If you have been feeling extremely beat for no reason and feel like you are low all the time nowadays, it is advised that you seek professional help for medication and guided lifestyle change to beat the disorder.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.