Fall is in full swing here in Vancouver and if you're along the West Coast, you know that means lots of rain and grey weather, which can make it hard to get out of bed sometimes. Seasonal Affective Disorder is common for a lot of people this time of year. Here are a few things you can do to boost up your mood and keep you feeling chipper right through till summer!
Nutrients to Boost Up Your Mood:
Protein: Include lots of good quality, organic protein sources such as eggs, poultry or fish. Protein contains amino acids which encourage your brain and body to produce neurotransmitters and hormones that increase serotonin levels.
Omega 3's: Typically in the standard North American Diet, it is easy to get our fill of omega 6's due to vegetable oils and processed foods. Lack of omega 3's can contribute to depression and anxiety. Fatty fish, flaxseeds, hemp and fish oil are all excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
B- Vitamins: When we have high levels of stress, b-vitamins are among the first nutrients to be burned up. Deficiencies are common among people with anxiety and depression. A shot of b-12 can help to increase energy levels and give you an extra boost. Food sources include whole grains and complex carbohydrates, legumes, animal protein and nuts and seeds.
Vitamin D: Vitamin that can be hard to come by in the winter when we are less exposed to sunlight. Food sources include organic dairy products, fortified non dairy milk and yogourts. Supplement with a good quality vitamin during the winter months to keep your energy levels and mood high.
Magnesium: Magnesium plays about 300 roles on our body, one of them being the development of serotonin. Deficiency in the mineral can contribute to irritability, moodiness, sugar cravings and fatigue. This is one of my favourite supplements to include in my diet, especially at night as it helps to calm the nervous system and encourage a good night sleep.
L-Theanine: A common amino acid that helps combat depression and anxiety. Green tea is one of the highest sources of theanine.
5-HTP: An amino acid supplement that s commonly used for mood disorders and insomnia. Food sources include turkey, chicken, sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as seaweed.
Exercise: Exercise temporarily increases endorphins (your body's feel good hormones) and might give you that extra boost you need. Exercise can also help reduce anxiety and encourage a good sleep. While it may seem easier to hit that extra snooze button, you will feel so much better after getting in some exercise, especially if you sit for most of the day. Try a walk or light jog, hot yoga, pilates or a quick HIIT workout to get your blood and circulation going.
Contact me today for a FREE 15 minute consultation to review your nutritional needs and goals. Let's see how we can work together to get you feeling your best!