FIGHTING THE WINTER BLUES: FOODS FOR A MOOD PICK-ME-UP
The start of the winter season should bring about joy and holiday cheer, right? This is not the case for many far from the equator. In fact, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects a range of 1%-9% of the population in places such as Alaska and Canada that have limited sunlight in the winter months. So, do we all move to Bora Bora in the winter? Although that would be wonderful, it is not conducive to most people’s lifestyles. Instead, here are a few things to incorporate in the diet to help with SAD.
- Foods to increase Vitamin D in the body: Low amounts of vitamin D is common in people with SAD due to the decreased sunlight exposure, but consuming foods high in Vitamin D such as fish and eggs can help. Try making a breakfast lox bagel with cold smoked salmon and an over easy egg to boost Vitamin D.
- Foods to help with serotonin regulation: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain which helps regulate mood. It is typically imbalanced in those with depression, but especially during the winter months. i For serotonin to be balanced, it requires tryptophan which is found in chicken, tuna, nuts and bananas. Scroll to the end of the blog for a delicious chicken salad recipe specific to balance serotonin!
- Foods high in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as fish, oysters, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. Omega-3 PUFAs are anti-inflammatory which help with fluidity in the brain to decrease depression. Scroll to the end of this blog for a tasty chia seed pudding recipe to decrease inflammation!
Although sunlight is the primary solution to fixing seasonal depression, you can still manage symptoms by adding these few things to your diet.
Chicken Salad Collard Green Wraps
By Amanda Anderson
Total time: 15 minutes
- ½ pound cooked boneless skinless chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper
- ½ cup dairy free yogurt such as Froeger Project Organic dairy free cashew milk yogurt
- 1 small gala apple, diced
- ¼ cup red grapes, cut in half
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 4 large collard green leaves
- Mix chicken yogurt, apples, grapes, walnuts and seasonings together in a large mixing bowl
- Remove the stem from the bottom of the collard green leaves
- Take you knife parallel to the stem that remains within the leaves and slice downward to thin the height of the stem which makes it easier to wrap
- Place about ¼ cup of chicken salad in the middle of the collard green along the stem
- Fold the two sides toward the middle and then the fold the bottom of the leaves up until you reach the end of each leaf, pinching the sides as you go
Chia Seed Pudding
By Amanda Anderson
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook/chilling time: 1 hour
- 4 TBS chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ TBS maple syrup
- 2 TBS cacao powder
- ½ cup blueberries for topping
- Mix chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup and cacao powder together in a bowl
- Transfer to a medium lipped serving dish and chill in the fridge for an hour to set
- Take out a spoonful and top with blueberries