Feeling SAD? Try These Foods To Improve Your Mood

Columnist Bob Leo offers tips for battling Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Aren't scientists clever?

Take Seasonal Affective Disorder for instance, SAD, cute.

SAD unfortunately really does make one sad. People who live in the northern most regions of the world suffer from higher rates of depression, and a much higher rate of suicide. Lack of sunshine lowers vitamin D levels and serotonin production in just about everyone. That means the winter blues are really the winter blues.
So what can you do about it? Well there's always a trip to the Islands. Doesn't fit your budget? Well, then try this. Certain foods have the ability to elevate your mood and ease winter depression.
Wild caught salmon for example enhances the flow of dopamine to the brain. Dopamine produces an elated feeling commonly known as happiness. This is caused by it's high levels of Omega 3 oil, also found in many other foods such as walnuts and flaxseed.
Chocolate (check out last years Valentine column) lowers cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol is commonly referred to as the "stress hormone". The darker the chocolate the greater the effect.
Good carbs, by this I mean whole grains, beans, low fat dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables, actually promote the production of serotonin in brain cells. Remember processed carbs like white bread and refined sugar are stripped of most of their nutritional value.
Saffron, those expensive little threads with the vibrant orange color have been used for centuries as an antidepressant in many middle eastern countries. Modern medicine has proven that saffron has many of the same chemical effects on the body Prozac.
So the next time your feeling bummed out and long for summer just head down to the local market, pick up a few of your favorite healthy ingredients, invite some friends over and lift every one's spirits the natural way, and if that doesn't work I here there running some great deals to tropics!


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