By Randy Fritz
Don’t Let SAD Get You Down
In winter time when the days are short, many people (mostly women) suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD was once thought of as a “silly mood” that you should be shaking off with a bit of positive thinking and some hard work. Now it has now been recognized as a real physiological condition with real causes and luckily, real strategies to help.
Winter Blues is the Most Common Kind of SAD. Its Symptoms Include:
Depression and/or hopelessness,
Cravings and weight gain
Difficulty concentrating and processing
Everyone experiences some of these at some time so it is worth knowing how to deal with this process.
Serotonin: The Big Culprit
All of these low mood symptoms are directly associated with low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter.
Proper levels of serotonin are created in the brain when there is the proper balance of tryptophan, an amino acid, certain B vitamins, and certain enzymes. Its creation is also influenced by blood sugars, fatty acids and the correct balance of melatonin the “sleep hormone.”
Its all in the balance.
You can try to “fix” this condition with drugs but that can throw the body out of balance and create even worse symptoms. The best solutions involve using whole foods that have been proven for thousands of years to help nourish the body to a state of happiness and simple strategies that bring our daily routine into a more natural rhythm.
10 Foods and Fixes:
1. Eat Your Whole Grains
All whole foods have amino acids (proteins) in different quantities. For serotonin to be produced you need a higher percentage of tryptophan than other amino acids in your blood stream. A moderate amount of carbohydrates will create this proper percentage. Whole grains (smart carbs) certainly have tryptophan and their carbohydrate content also allows the tryptophan to be a high enough percentage so it can get to the brain where it is needed. Whole grains also contain B vitamins which help the tryptophan to be converted to serotonin.
The grain that has the highest percent of tryptophan is buckwheat, but most grains work well. They are complex enough and have enough fiber that the sugars are released into your blood stream slowly. This prevents the energy highs and lows which also affects your moods. Brown rice is one of those properly balanced grains. For a sugerless tasty brown rice pudding click here: Rice Pudding.