So we’re in for another stretch of being at home.. so maybe it’s time to concentrate on your health and your mood…
If this isn’t enough to get you feeling perky, Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at NutriCentre (www.nutricentre.com) has some great nutritional mood boosters that might just do the trick!
1. B6, B12 and folate are crucial nutrients for a natural daily chemical process called methylation. The outcome of this process is the balancing of the neurotransmitters dopamine and adrenalin – which are involved in mood regulation. This is why these 3 nutrients are required for normal psychological function. They can all be easily found in a B complex or taken separately if higher dosing of each is needed.
Try Viridian High Five B-Complex, available online at nutricentre.com, £6.50 for a months supply.
2. If you are feeling tired after the festive period – this can often make us feel more down than usual. Magnesium is an excellent mineral to take to increase energy and helps us to feel better about ourselves.
3. The herb St John’s Wort (£14.95 for 120 capsules) is a licenced herb to support feelings of mild depression.
4. Look at your diet: By cutting down on sugar and alcohol we can help to balance out yo-yoing moods. Both these substances increase a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine makes us feel rewarded and pleasurable but this doesn’t last forever and once levels fall, we can feel lower than we did before. Eat oily fish twice a week or supplement as fatty acids are good brain food and increase your vegetables. Also eat more protein.
Proteins are broken down in the body to make amino acids and these are then used to make neurotransmitters, which are responsible for keeping our mind and mood balanced. Protein foods are: nuts, seeds, meat, fish, bean and lentils, whey protein and eggs.
A D-Lightful idea!
5. Since we are so sun deprived in winter, consider supplementing with vitamin D!
Try Quest Forte D 4000, available online. £10.16 for 60 tablets.
6. If you feel especially down on dark winter mornings, consider using a special light lamp alarm clock. The lamp gradually turns itself on (and gets brighter and brighter) to mimic natural daw n sunrise, to wake you up slowly before your alarm goes off. Research has shown people feel more positive and find it easier to get out of bed in the darker months after using this device.
7. Having a sauna twice a week is a relaxing and warming way of getting through the winter days!
8. Exercise daily to increase happy hormones such as serotonin – it doesn’t have to be outside – try the dancing sets with the Wii – great fun and the kids will enjoy it too.
9. Are you getting enough zinc in your diet? Good sources are sea food, nuts, seeds and dark green vegetables. Considering supplementing if low, because zinc is required for normal cognitive function.
Try Cytoplan Zinc, available online at nutricentre.com, £13.35 for 60 tablets.
10. Make positive plans to do fun activities so you have events to look forward too! Every time you feel a little down, remind yourself of all the positive experiences you have planned ahead.