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Senior Health and Wellness - Avoiding A SAD Newark Winter

Nov 30, 2017 by Comfort Keepers Newark, DE

These Fours Foods May Help You Avoid A SAD Winter

Each season brings different challenges to our health. Spring has allergies, summer poses the risk of heat overload, and colder weather can be dangerous for other reasons.

Did you know that you can actually become more depressed during the winter time? Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, affects many Americans. It occurs during the gloomy winter months and can present as full-on depression.

Seniors are especially at risk, as feelings of loneliness and isolation can increase during the wintertime, along with these feelings of depression.

Luckily, there are some foods to incorporate into your diet that can help you ward off SAD.

These four foods provide a particular set of nutrients that help the body (and mind) fight Seasonal Affective Disorder during the short days of winter:

  1. Eggs
  2. Spinach
  3. Almonds
  4. Whole Grains  

Eggs

Among the many vitamins and nutrients you can get from eggs, one may be more important than the rest during the winter time: vitamin D.

Vitamin D is particularly important because it helps improve mood. A positive mood can go a long way – it has actually been shown to even improve physical health.

We get our vitamin D naturally from the sun, but even during the winter’s sunniest days, the rays are too weak to give us any real benefit. Many Americans have a vitamin D deficiency as it is, but it is especially bad during this gloomy season. Therefore, eating more eggs and getting more vitamin D can improve your mood, and thus bolster your physical health, too.

Spinach

The combination of nutrients in spinach can actually promote more restful sleep, which helps to boost your immune system. This is especially important during wintertime when we are more susceptible to getting both sick and depressed.

Unfortunately, fresh spinach may be hard to come across in the wintertime, but other dark leafy greens provide the same or similar benefits. Some of these beneficial nutrients these veggies contain are folate, iron, and vitamin C.

Almonds

Almonds also contain iron, which is one of the restful-sleep-producing vitamins we need in our diet.

Additionally, almonds are a great snack option, as they contain both fiber and protein. This satisfying combination leaves us full and keeps us energized, which is important for modulating blood sugar levels. It’s been shown that keeping healthy levels throughout the day bolsters our body’s immune system, and also reduces the risk of SAD.

Whole Grains

Whole grains also are a great source of fiber and a beneficial food for modulating blood glucose levels. This is because they trigger the release of insulin, which is a key player in absorbing glucose from the blood into our cells and vice versa. The release of insulin also cascades into the production of serotonin, which is a “feel good” compound that improves our mood.

If you are feeling depressed or lonely in the wintertime, you may be experiencing SAD. Talk to your doctor about ways you can treat it and resources available to you.

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