Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a type of depression related to the changing of the seasons, as the name suggests. For most (though not all) people it affects, symptoms begin to show up in the later fall months and tend to stay around through the colder winter months. Though sometimes called “the winter blues,” SAD typically brings more intense feelings of depression than just a minor shift in mood.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a variety of symptoms associated with SAD, ranging from apparent ones, like feelings of sadness, to signs that may be less obvious, like appetite changes and specific cravings.
Other symptoms might include:
- Weight gain
- Low energy and tiredness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling agitated
- Feeling hopeless
Treatment can range from light therapy to talk therapy to medications. In addition to treatment options, healthy food choices can also help support positive changes in mood.
Nutritional Support for Seasonal Affective Disorder
The food choices we make impact much more than just our physical health. They also affect our mood. Here are a few good options to include as part of a well-balanced diet that supports good mental health.
- Dark Leafy Greens - Dark leafy foods like spinach and kale are rich in folate and vitamin B12, which have been shown to boost serotonin.
- Fish - Omega-3 fatty acids in fish like salmon have been shown to help in the production of dopamine and serotonin, two key chemicals for mood regulation.
- Turkey (skinless) - The chemical tryptophan in turkey, accused of creating many sleepy Thanksgiving Day guests, has been shown to induce some feelings of relaxation.
- Avocado - Full of good fats, avocados also feature folate, a known mood enhancer, in addition to tryptophan and vitamin B6 which has been shown to boost energy.
- Almased - With 400mg of L-tryptophan and a spectrum of vitamins and other nutrients to support healthy metabolism, it’s the perfect addition to your daily intake. Plus with 27g of plant-based protein, you stay fuller longer, helping curb SAD-induced cravings.
Whether it’s a mild case of winter blues or a clinical diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder, supporting your mental health with wise food choices is one way you can take care of yourself. Pairing Almased with healthy food options can help support your health even further, improving your mood, boosting your energy, and even promoting healthy weight loss to boot.