Nutritionist Kerry Torrens suggests foods to fend off the winter blues - packed with the nutrients your body needs to make serotonin, the happy hormone.
Get your daily dose of vitamin D...
Get a daily shot of sunshine with foods rich in vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin associated with better moods. It's found in eggs, oily fish, and fortified breakfast cereals and spreads.
Pack main meals with foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan, a key building block for serotonin. Chicken, venison, oily fish like tuna or salmon, dairy foods, soya, nuts and seeds are good choices. Vitamin B6 - found in brown rice, wholemeal wheat, beans and pulses - will help your body to process it.
If your low mood is linked to tiredness, increase your intake of vitamin B3, which your body needs to access the energy from food. It's found in turkey, fish, eggs and dairy.
Stay well-oiled! Omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish are vital for proper brain function. Vegetarians should choose a good-quality nut or seed oil. A new favourite of mine is chia seed oil (thechiaco.com.au): high in omega-3, its subtle flavour makes it ideal for drizzling on salads and veg.
Snacks with benefits
Stay healthy and banish hunger pangs with one of these snacks next time you need a nibble...
High in protective compounds called flavonoids, chocolate with a cocoa content over 70% has been proven to be good for the heart and help lower blood pressure.
Two of these juicy little fruits count as 1 of your 5-a-day and most of your day's vitamin C requirements - crucial if you want to stay cold- and bug-free. They're also a great solution when only something sweet will do.
So handy if you're on the go. Ring the changes with dried figs, a fabulous source of iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Add dried cranberries to yogurt, and snack on dates for their potassium and fibre content. Combine with a small handful of nuts for an energising, sustaining snack.
Have you struggled with the winter blues or do you have a secret weapon when it comes to keeping on top of the colder months? Let us know below.
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