With minimal daylight hours, no sunshine and a post-Christmas slump – winter blues can kick in, negatively impacting your mood in a way which can last throughout the season.
For those needing a small boost to get them into a positive mindset for the winter months, there are certain foods that have been recommended by experts to help improve your mood and ease off symptoms.
Wren Kitchens has collated some of the best mood-boosting foods, to help beat the winter blues.
Oats are a great source of fibre and iron, which help keep your energy levels stable throughout the day and ease off any feeling of tiredness, sluggishness, and feeling fed up. Incorporating these into your diet not only in winter but throughout the year will massively help improve and manage your mood.
Turkey is rich in tryptophan which helps our bodies produce serotonin. Serotonin is the mood-boosting neurotransmitter that helps you to relax and has been suggested to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. This makes it perfect for consumption when wanting to make yourself feel better when feeling the winter blues.
Tuna is a great source of selenium which is a nutritionally essential mineral that your body needs for everything from fighting infection to synthesising DNA. It’s essential to keep optimal levels of selenium in your body during the colder months as a low level of this mineral can contribute to the development of anxiety and depression.
Salmon is a fatty fish that is rich in omega-3 acids, some of which can be linked to lower levels of depression and a reduction in anxiety, making it perfect for consumption when dealing with winter blues. Research is still ongoing, but the benefits of omega-3s are supported by studies from the National Library of Medicine.
Dark leafy greens
Green vegetables are known to promote good mental and physical health as they’re packed with vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, vitamin C and K – making them a great all-rounder throughout the year, but with particular benefit in winter when we may need the extra boost.
Almonds are another great source of tryptophan and magnesium and have many health benefits including helping to promote a stable attitude and sleep, making them a perfect snack for dealing with winter blues.
The last food on our list to help you deal with winter blues is dark chocolate, which is rich in serotonin, flavonoid, and phenylethylamine (PEA) – all known to boost brain health by supporting blood flow and linked to improved moods.