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Mental Health and Seasonal Change: What role can nutrition play?

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

With the beginning of the colder months, the days will become shorter, the nights will become longer, and there will be less light exposure, which can lead to mental health difficulties such as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or winter blues.

Daily exposure to 10 minutes of sunlight or a bright white light such as "full spectrum" light can help adjust your circadian rhythm and your mental health in the autumn and winter.

Over the past several years, much research has demonstrated the fundamental role that nutrition plays in mental health. Poor nutrition can worsen the symptoms of depression and cognitive impairment.

A study showed that the more often people consumed fruit, the lower their depression index scores and the higher their mental well-being, and that people who consumed more salty, low-nutrition foods were more likely to experience everyday mental lapses such as anxiety., stress and depression.

Why not invest in better nutrition? As our body requires warmer foods at this time, heated or puréed fruits can be a good choice. Vegetables in soups, stews or sautéed. Try to have a handful of nuts daily and if possible, invest in fish such as Salmon, organic or wild, cod, sardines, tuna, mackerel twice a week.

Look for a qualified healthcare professional to help with your diet and necessary supplementation such as vitamin D because sunlight is weak at this time of year, and it is very difficult to get enough of this vitamin through food.


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