Of the 12 months, March is one that marks the end of winter and the start of spring. Though some people are all too happy to be rid of “winter blues,” but a good number of us are prone to depression during the season-change month.
Similar to depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) takes the fun out of everything we’d normally enjoy doing, it makes us feel tired all the time, and even feel suicidal. All this sounds terribly grim.
Since, I’ve started adopting healthier eating habits I’ve also found that eating certain foods can help with mood-balancing. While we shouldn’t expect an instant lift from being down to suddenly feeling over the moon, nonetheless, these foods can help us maintain a healthy balance.
Mushrooms and tomatoes:
Mushrooms are good for lifting low moods because they are a probiotic that promote healthy gut bacteria. Primarily found in our gastrointestinal track, serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness, so if we take care of our intestinal health we are also doing something good for our mental health.
Eating Tomatoes can help increase folic acid in our bodies and lower our blood pressure to battle with depression. An elevated level of folic acid can aid the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Furthermore, tomatoes contain an antioxidant compound that benefits our overall health, not just mental health.
Halibut and salmon:
The omega-3 fatty acids are said to play an essential part in our brain function, they lower blood pressure and help facilitate communications between the cells. At the moment, research on treating depression with omega-3s are not conclusive, but some show that it is effective in stabilizing moods.
Both halibut and salmon contain omega-3s. They are good to incorporate into your diet. In addition, eating salmon supplies your body with vitamin D3 that contributes to metabolism. Halibut is a selenium-rich food; people who suffer from depression and anxiety are also found to be deficient in selenium.
Not sure if the halibut you see on the market is fresh? Food Network offers a short guide on what qualities to look for.
In case you’d like some help with buying salmon, Food Network has a similar guide for how to pick out fresh salmon.
The last three things on my list are chamomile tea, yogurt and dark chocolate. All three can be consumed readily without much fuss.
Chamomile has been known as a herbal remedy for easing digestion, it also contains an antioxidant compound that reduces chronic sleeplessness through the binding of certain neuroreceptor in our brain.
Work almost in the same way as mushroom, as a probiotic yogurt is another food that promotes gastrointestinal health. These good bacteria can strengthen our immune function and reduce immflamuation.
When consumed smartly, chocolate can be very nutritious (however, not the milk chocolate kind that has lots of sugar and milk). The higher the percentage of cocoa in our chocolate, the more beneficial it is. Although not enough data has proven dark chocolate’s effects in lowering blood pressure, however it does promote brain health when tested among volunteers.
There are many different brands of dark chocolate out there. While looking around, I found this buyer’s guide for dark chocolate. It lists the crucial elements such as characteristics and cocoa content when shopping for one that is health-beneficial.
As you may have noticed, the foods mentioned here contain antioxidants just as in the article I wrote about “slowing down aging process.” Some of them would also be good as after-workout foods. Read and try, you’d be happy you did.