We are in the thick of winter, and you might be feeling a little lethargic. Perhaps you are craving more carbs; you are sad, anxious, or having trouble sleeping. You are not alone! Thousands of people struggle with the “Winter Blues” each year. While more severe cases may require a medical professional, there are some things you can try to battle the “Winter Blues”.
Since there are less hours of daylight this time of year, and we are not out in the sun playing and working as much, our bodies have lower levels of vitamin D. A decrease in vitamin D has been linked to depressive symptoms. In addition, vitamin D is involved with the production of serotonin, which our body needs to remain calm, relaxed and helps with sleep.
B vitamins also increase the level of serotonin in the brain. If you are giving in to your cravings and eating more sugary sweets, starchy or processed carbohydrates, this decreases your vitamin B levels.
These lower levels of vitamin D and B, contribute to many of the “Winter Blues” symptoms. You can combat this by eating foods rich in these vitamins listed below:
Vitamin B -12: poultry, fish, milk, cheese and eggs.
Vitamin B -6: spinach, walnuts, sunflower seeds, black beans and bananas.
Vitamin D: low fat milk fortified with D, orange juice fortified with D and healthy cereals fortified with vitamin D.
You may also need to take a calcium and vitamin D supplement and a B-complex vitamin. Talk to your health professional about taking additional supplements, or a trainer at Fitness Advantage. We now carry a line of supplements that have these important vitamins in them.
Make sure to drink lots of water to remove toxins from your body. Eat fresh, nutritious foods to help keep your energy and motivation up, your mood and cravings in check and help you sleep better. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. It is just as important as eating right and exercising. Beat those Winter Blues!