The dark days of winter can bring on dark moods. It’s not just that we miss the pleasant temperatures and long sunny days; our bodies also miss the sunshine.
Winter days, with fewer hours of sunlight, bring on a change in mood for many people, a condition that goes by the apt acronym of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Happily, there are ways to compensate for this.
Bring on the Vitamin D3
When sunlight hits our skin, it triggers the creation of vitamin D3. (Technically, vitamin D3 is a hormone, not a vitamin.) In recent years the research on D3 has exploded and it has been found to be related to virtually every function of the body, including the brain. Too little D3 can result in sadness or even depression.
Vitamin D3 supplements are readily available and inexpensive (but if you’re on blood thinning medicine, don’t use these supplements without first checking with your doctor).
People who live in northern latitudes or spend little time outdoors, or have dark skin, or who use sun block are likely to not get enough of the vitamin. Women who live in the Middle East, with ample sunlight, will not benefit from it if they cover their skin.
In addition to vitamin D3, consider adding some magnesium to your lifestyle since it also has impressive benefits. Carolyn Dean, MD writes: “Magnesium deficiency can produce symptoms of anxiety or depression…” She continues, “Serotonin, the ‘feel good’ brain chemical that is boosted by Prozac, depends on magnesium for its production and function.”
Your body will absorb magnesium when you enjoy a warm bath with a bout a cup of Epsom salt added to it. A delicious way to get more magnesium is with some of the rich food sources such as: bananas, avocados, fish, nuts & seeds, dark chocolate, beans, dark leafy greens, brown rice, dried figs, whole wheat, oatmeal, and quinoa.
My, my Omega
Another nutrition hero is omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). In 1999 Harvard University’s Professor of Psychiatry, Andrew Stoll, found that giving fish oil supplements (high in EFAs) brought profound improvement in patients suffering from depression. Newer research confirms that Americans consume far lower amounts of the healthy oils than our ancestors did, and we are experiencing many problems as a result.
While individual supplements have been shown to be beneficial for helping people who suffer from depression and related problems such as phobias and irrational fears, there is a blend that has also been extremely successful. EMPowerplus is an easy-to-take powder that can be added to smoothies. It is composed of 36 minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants that have been found to help many behavior, learning, and health problems. Information on the research supporting it is available from www.truehope.com.
Shared with: Oh My Heartsie Girl!, Faith Along the Way, The Art of Homemaking, The Modest Mom Blog, Cornerstone Confessions, Back to the Basics, A Little R & R, Happy and Blessed Home, and So Much at Home