The third Monday of January is called Blue Monday because it is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. This is because of the combination of the debt after the holidays, the cold weather and motivation loss after failing your New Year’s resolution (see our blog on How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution).
However, there may be some nutrition-related reasons as to why we feel so down during this time.
Here are top 4 surefire ways to beat the winter blues with proper nutrition:
In Spring and Summer, delicious fruits and vegetables are in abundance, meaning getting our daily dose of nutrients is a lot easier.
In the dead of Winter, fruits and vegetables are reduced in choice and availability, which may be reducing our inclination to reach for them. However, it is important to make that extra effort to consume fruits and vegetables even in winter.
When it’s hot outside, we automatically reach for water to cool us down. However, in winter we may not think of it as much but it’s still important to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and irritability. If you don’t feel like drinking cool water in January, drink your water in the form of caffeine-free herbal teas such as peppermint, rooibos, chamomile, or lemon balm.
The ups and downs in mood may actually be due to ups and downs in blood sugar. Our bodies are under extra stress in the winter due to the cold. Don’t add to this stress by spiking blood sugar up and down. Make sure to eat three complete meals per day plus snacks. Each meal should have fiber, protein and healthy fats. Avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates and stimulants such as caffeine. This will keep you feeling full longer, keeping blood sugar and mood stable.
The amino acid tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter in the brain that makes us feel happy. Tryptophan is found in poultry, spirulina, cashews and walnuts, and brown rice. Including these foods in your diet may help to increase serotonin production in the brain as well as melatonin production, which is our sleep hormone.
Other ways to combat this gloomy time is to exercise, go for a walk in the sun, and take a vitamin D supplement.
Finally, don’t forget it is only a couple more months until Spring!
Whatever your goals are for 2018, let us guide you on your health journey. For a fail-safe, proper nutrition plan feel free to contact us.
We look forward to helping you (ask about our $30 discount)!