The gloomy, cloudy days so common to winter often leave people feeling the same way as weather. This is often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately abbreviated to SAD.
Seasonal Affective Disorder has been diagnosed in approximately 6% of Americans, with about 15% suffering from a milder version of the disorder. Nonetheless, the winter blues, no matter how severe, can leave you pining for sugary carbs and dreading your upcoming workout.
Although it won’t make summer come any faster, eating right can help lessen the severity of SAD. The following foods have been recommended to help combat the effects of winter:
Leafy Greens: A great choice year-round, these superheroes are full of vitamin B12 and folate. Both have been shown to increase serotonin levels which can help bust that “bummed out” feeling.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to fight depression by boosting production of dopamine and serotonin. They can be found in fish; particularly good sources include salmon, herring, mackerel and oysters.
Eggs: Due to their high zinc content, eggs can be effective in fighting the fatigue brought on by SAD. Zinc is known to play a crucial role in moderating blood-sugar levels and regulating the metabolism.
Whole Grains and Complex Carbs: If you’re craving carbs, make sure to indulge in these healthier options to keep you feeling fuller. Complex carbs stabilize the blood sugar more so than their simple carb counterparts, preventing additional fatigue from low blood sugar.