Winter brings around shorter days, little to no proper sunlight and chilly temperatures. Around the later winter months, you might find changes in your mood and productivity. It is a given that many of us feel a little more sluggish during winter.
You know you have the case of the “winter blues” if you feel your energy levels have duped and you’ve found yourself lacking the motivation to complete your daily tasks, easily lose concentration and crave super carby comfort foods.
But fear not, you can eat more of certain foods to boost your mood and feel more productive during these cold, dark and slow months. Plant-based foods have several amino acids and vitamins that can make us feel happier by boosting our levels of feel-good hormones.
Here’s what you can eat!
1.Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are important foods that contribute to beating the winter blues. Because our bodies cannot make these essential omega-3 fatty acids, we’ve got to eat them. Flaxseed, hemp, walnut oils (and seeds) along with chia seeds are all rich sources omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Studies have proven that they can reduce depression and depression symptoms.
2.Bananas and Berries
Bananas are high in vitamin B6, an important B vitamin for creating positivity. Containing healthy carbs and sugars, they also aid in serotonin production, are high in potassium that help fuel your brain and contain lots of magnesium – that has been shown to improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
Apart from bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries can help prevent the release of cortisol, which releases stressful and emotional responses. Being high in antioxidants, it also boosts brain function, brain and nervous system health.
Vitamin D is associated with an increase in immunity as well as lowered depressive symptoms. Having plantbased foods fortified with vitamin D like soy, almond, hemp, and rice milk are great to incorporate into your diet as they tend to improve vitamin D levels in your body. Investing in a plantbased brand of vitamin D3 will also help add more of this happy supplement into your system.
4. Soy Products
Soy products contain nutrients that help stabilize serotonin levels (responsible for moods, sleep, wound healing, bowel movements). It also contains other vitamins and amino acids that contribute to positivity levels.
5.Avocados/ Brazil Nuts
Avocados and brazil nuts are packed with vitamin B, which helps promote white blood cell production to help fight infections. Brazil nuts additionally, boost immunity and contain selenium that helps boost your mood. If you suspect you aren’t getting enough through food, invest in a quality supplement to make up for it.
Beans are loaded with iron that supports energy levels and aids muscle strength. It can also boost your mood and reduce the feeling of fatigue and depression during the colder months. Beans are additionally filled with phytonutrients that help prevent diseases and contain folate and fiber.
Leafy greens contain vitamin C, which is high in antioxidants and can increase your energy levels. Consuming greens such as spinach, kale, parsley, and broccoli contribute to better energy.
Sea greens also aid in boosting mood and energy levels, as they contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid for the brain’s serotonin creation. Many of these sea greens being nutritional powerhouses, vegetables like kelp, seaweed, and spirulina are great for increasing positivity and are popular in regions of Japan since they promote longevity and extreme health.
Dark chocolate is very popularly known to boost your mood as it contains high levels of antioxidants. Eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day (about 1 ounce, not one pound) can reduce cortisol levels (lowers stress). Eating chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa will raise your dopamine levels, making you feel in a happier and focused mood.
Carbs (healthier carbs) can boost your mood because of the production of serotonin. It also gives you sustained energy compared to simple and processed carbs like white bread, simple and sugary baked goods, soda etc that cause your insulin to spike and then crash quickly furthermore causing anxiety, irritation and stress. Opt for whole grains and complex carbohydrates like sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, beans and legumes to avoid energy crashes and to include quality nutrients.
While eating is definitely a great way to help boost your mood; we’ll be writing about other things you can also engage in to boost your overall mood and productivity, to keep you from feeling blue.
In the meantime, our Organic Whole Greens as well as Plant Protein +Greens are packed with dark leafy greens as well as sea greens to boost up your energy levels and mood. Many also prefer to buy our Berry flavoured and Chocolate flavoured Plant Protein +Greens as they keep those antioxidants high and stress levels low.