Nutrition expert recommends foods that combat seasonal blues
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Health blogger and Sports and Exercise Science graduate Thomas Riley of Nootroedge said, “Certain foods can help boost mood, energy and self-esteem during the autumn and winter months. Optimising nutrition to support mental health is key to help banish the seasonal slump and keep your spirits high as the days grow shorter.”
The following nutrition tips can help banish the seasonal slump and keep your spirits high:
Salmon for Anxiety Relief
Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower anxiety by improving neurotransmitter function in the brain. The healthy fats in salmon support cognitive flexibility and a calm state of mind. Aim for two servings of salmon per week, whether it's grilled, baked or in salad form. The protein in salmon also stabilises energy and mood.
Leafy Greens for a Serotonin Boost
Leafy greens like spinach and kale contain folate, a B vitamin that aids serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin is your "feel good" neurotransmitter that regulates mood, and emotions. Low serotonin levels are linked to anxiety, irritability and depression. Add leafy greens to omelettes, pastas, salads and smoothies to help elevate your mood.
Probiotics for Gut-Brain Balance
Foods like yoghurt, kefir, tempeh and sauerkraut contain probiotics, or beneficial gut bacteria. These support digestive health, which is intrinsically connected to mental wellbeing through the gut-brain axis. The healthy bacteria in probiotics produce neurotransmitters that control anxiety and inflammation. Aim for at least one probiotic food daily.
Bananas to Improve Mood
Bananas offer vitamin B6, which helps your body synthesise important mood-balancing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. The carb content in bananas provides sustained energy to prevent crashes that can negatively impact confidence. Have a banana at breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or before a workout to keep your outlook positive.
Vitamin B12 for Energy and Focus
Foods like chicken, eggs, grass-fed beef and legumes supply vitamin B12 for sustained mental and physical energy, productivity and concentration. Deficiency leads to fatigue, weakness, cognitive issues and depression. Load up at breakfast with eggs, yoghurt and nut butter toast to power through the day with a confident mindset.
Vitamin C to Lower Cortisol
Oranges, red peppers, kiwi, broccoli and strawberries are excellent sources of vitamin C, which helps regulate cortisol levels and mitigate stress. Chronic stress depletes vitamin C stores, so be sure to eat plenty of citrus fruits and vibrant produce to support adrenal health, immunity and positive thinking.
By focusing on these mood-friendly foods this autumn, you can keep your confidence and spirits high even as the days grow shorter. Support mental health with nutrition tailored to your mindset.
Are there specific supplements for sleep that can help combat seasonal blues?
Yes, certain supplements for sleep, such as melatonin, valerian root, and magnesium, can help improve sleep quality during the colder months. A good night's sleep is essential for mood regulation and can help combat seasonal blues.
How can supplements for productivity enhance focus and energy during the autumn and winter months?
Supplements for productivity, such as ginseng, rhodiola rosea, and L-theanine, can boost cognitive function, improve concentration, and enhance energy levels, especially during seasons when motivation might be low.
Can combining mood-friendly foods with supplements for sleep enhance overall well-being during the seasonal slump?
Combining mood-friendly foods with supplements for sleep can provide a holistic approach to well-being. While foods provide essential nutrients to boost mood, sleep supplements can ensure restful nights, further enhancing mental health.