After the heat of the summer and the rainy fall we all look forward to winter. It’s cool weather, warm clothes and holiday cheer…but as the holiday season winds down. And we have months to go in the winter season, we become sluggish and dread the dark days and cold weather. Waking in the dark and coming home from work in the dark hinders our exercise routines. Causing fatigue and sluggishness – which leads to too much sleep and ultimately weight gain for a lot of us. Paired with low moods and symptoms that mimic depression. It is well know that those suffering from depression have a worsening of symptoms in the winter and while roughly 3% of the population has been diagnose with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), countless others have what is termed the “Winter blues“.
So while any depression symptoms or SAD should be handled by your clinical physician, those of us who tend to experience more mild symptoms related to the darkening winter season there are some natural ways we can try and enhance our mood and energy while we await the spring sunshine.
Vitamins & Supplements to help with your Winter Blues
Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin! The best source of vitamin D is sun exposure, which is need for the body to synthesize vitamin D. And though very little exposure is need for this conversion. Even that is hard to obtain in the winter months in most parts of the country. The fact that vitamin D deficiency is widespread (over 70% of the US population is thought to vitamin D deficient). The need to utilize supplements to obtain adequate vitamin D levels seems like a necessity. These low levels may also underlie the winter blues. The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that likelihood of having depression in people with vitamin D deficiency is significantly higher compare to those whose levels are sufficient.
Fish Oil – provides a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Which are know to play an important role in brain function. And countless studies have suggested many other benefits for these ever important omega-3 fatty acids. Some scientists and researchers also believe that an imbalance between omega 3. And omega 6 fatty acids contributes to depression, violent behavior and many other health issues.
B Vitamins: are essential for cell metabolism, central nervous system maintenance and they also help to increase energy levels. Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 and Folate in particular have found to associate with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms.
SAM-e- (S-adenosylmethionine) is make from the amino acid methionine. And ATP and is a naturally occurring compound in human cells. SAM-e is use as a mood booster by influencing brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. SAM-e has been widely prescribe in Europe for years.