Seasonal Affected Disorder

According to the mynutrition.co.uk survey of 22,000 people, 52% of people feel apathetic and unmotivated a lot of the time, while 42 % feel depressed a lot of the time. This number goes up in winter as millions suffer from SAD or seasonal affected disorder commonly known as the winter blues...

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  • Do you often feel down hearted or sad?
  • Do you find it difficult to face the day?
  • Is it an effort to motivate yourself?
  • Does your energy diminish in the winter?
  • Do you dread the long dark days ahead?
  • Do you often feel worse in the morning?
  • Do you often have crying spells, or feel like it?
  • Do you shun company and prefer to be alone?
  • Do you often feel fearful?
  • Are you often irritable or angry?
  • Do you feel hopeless about the future?

If you answer yes to 5 or more questions your mood needs a boost.

One of the greatest unrecognized truths is that optimum nutrition not only feeds the body but the mind too. It can improve your mood and give you the energy and motivation to make changes to your life.

There are 4 key areas to tackle.

  1. Nutrient deficiencies in today's typical diet are very common. The brain needs regular food to keep it functioning. We are all guilty of running on the hoof and missing meals. Then we eat the wrong foods because we are hungry, feel irritable and can't concentrate. This is a sign that your blood sugar is not controlled, this actually underlies low mood.
     
  2. Added to that, specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies which are essential for the brain to function normally. These nutrients ensure there is better communication between brain neurotransmitters to keep your mood stable.
     
  3. Deficiencies in tryptophan and tyrosine. These are actually constituents of protein which help to produce serotonin which influences your mood and adrenalin which influences your motivation.
    The good news is that these neurotransmitters are directly influenced by nutrition. For many people the pace of life and the speed at which we go at stresses our body and mind. When this happens our need for the right nutrients, tryptophan and tyrosine increases.
     
  4. A lack of sunshine. It is well documented that our levels of serotonin ( mood enhancing hormone) drop in the winter. Also our sunshine vitamin is vitamin D so supplementing that at the right dose is critical. It may also help to use a special light or a mid winter sun holiday.
    If you want to eat your way to happiness and beat the blues, the key is to follow a diet that keeps your blood sugar balanced and provide tryptophan, tyrosine and mood boosting nutrients.

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© Ruth Pretty 2011