The cold, harsh air of winter is enough to make you retreat indoors and hibernate for the season. Nevertheless, if your feelings of irritability, sluggishness, loss of interest, and overall depression persist, it may be a sign of a more serious issue.

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is often called “winter blues” because most cases occur between fall and late winter. Though the cause of SAD is unclear, many researchers and medical professionals link this rapid change in mood to a lack of sunshine. The consequential drop in serotonin, dopamine and melatonin levels can lead to depression.

 

Luckily there are easy steps you can take to prevent or relieve the symptoms of SAD. For instance, many studies link food to improvements in mood and support the claim that certain foods can reduce stress, ease anxiety, and relieve depression. Try adding these mood boosting foods to your diet and get back to feeling like you again!

 

• Chocolate. Your guilty pleasure could be the key to relieving your depression. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants shown to reduce stress hormones, including cortisol, in highly stressed individuals. Be sure to indulge moderately.

• Carbs. Complete carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, and beans have been linked to production of serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone.”

• Oranges. We all know vitamin C boosts immune health but did you know it can also boost your mood? Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant shown to destroy the free radicals that hinder your recovery from stress.

 

Try adding these mood boosting foods to your diet and get back to feeling like you again – fast!