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3 nutrients to boost your mood this winter
Winter can be a difficult time, especially when it seems like it will never end. The dark days and damp weather can really affect your mood, leaving you irritable, depressed and tired. These feelings can worsen as the winter months go on, which can be highly damaging to your health and your overall wellbeing.
If you are feeling a bit down this winter and need a lift, an easy way to boost your mood could be by incorporating certain nutrients into your diet. Adding these nutrients can provide you with more energy, which can then help to make you feel happier and perkier.
Vitamin D is often known as the sunshine vitamin, as we get most of it from the sun. It is produced by our body underneath the skin when it reacts with sunlight. It is vital when it comes to avoiding a number of conditions, including rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, as well as helping to boost your mood.
If you are feeling low, it might be a good idea to up the amount of vitamin D you are getting. You can either take supplements or eat certain foods to increase your intake of the sunshine vitamin. Powdered milk, oily fish, and fortified foods - such as fat spreads and breakfast cereals - can all provide you with more vitamin D.
B vitamins are incredibly important when it comes to staying energised and keeping your mood up throughout the winter. There are a number of different B vitamins that your body needs, as they are all involved in releasing energy from food.
Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid and pantothenic acid all help to break down foods to release the energy they contain. They also work to store the energy, helping to regulate you throughout the day and maintain your mood.
Many B vitamins can't be stored in your body, so you need to ensure that you are getting enough every day. You can usually get the right amounts of all B vitamins by maintaining a healthy diet, but if you find that your mood levels are really dipping and that you are feeling constantly tired, you should consider taking supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids have a large number of health benefits, not least their ability to help boost your mood. They can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
They have been linked to improving mood and are often used to treat depression, which shows that they could be beneficial for those suffering from seasonal affective disorder. It is not known exactly how omega-3 fatty acids serve to reduce depression, but it has been found that there are lower levels of depression amongst cultures that consume high levels.
You can up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating more oily fish and using certain oils - such as olive, soybean and canola. Walnuts are also high in beneficial fatty acids.