Feeling the Winter Blues?

SADWhen you hear the acronym SAD, you would rightly assume that it is referring to the Standard American Diet. But there is another SAD which is also important to talk about – Seasonal Affective Disorder. What is this particular SAD? Think “winter blues.” Many people notice a change in the way they feel at the start of the colder season – lethargy, weight gain, loss of libido, difficulty concentrating, and even low grade depression. Some may have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, sleep longer, crave carbohydrates and feel less joy in everyday activities. Continue reading “Feeling the Winter Blues?”

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Strategies to Lift Your Mood and Help with SAD

sad lightThe darker days of winter can take a toll emotionally and mentally on many people. For some, feeling down and the longing for warm sunshine is constant and can be accompanied by symptoms like fatigue, weight gain and irritability. This feeling is referred to appropriately as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a type of depression that is common during winter months.

The cause of SAD isn’t absolutely clear. However, research indicates that lack of sunlight and the roles of two neurotransmitters, serotonin and melatonin, may have a part in the onset of this disorder.

Serotonin is known as the “feel good hormone” and helps to regulate our moods. Continue reading “Strategies to Lift Your Mood and Help with SAD”

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Fight the Winter Blues Naturally

IMG_0593Some people know the third Monday in January as Blue Monday, because it is supposed to be the saddest day of the year. For a number of people, the winter blues aren’t just limited to one day. SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is a type of depression that affects people in the winter months because of the darkness from shorter days and grayer skies. Less natural sunlight, shorter days and colder weather can really affect your mood. It has been estimated that as many as 9% of U.S. adults experience symptoms of SAD. It is more common in women than men, and in the north than the south.

Symptoms of SAD can be low energy, anxiety attacks, weight gain, sleeping too much, and decreased libido, all of which typically begin in the late fall and alleviate in the spring. But here is the good news. People with SAD often respond very well to light therapy (phototherapy) and vitamin D supplementation, as well as other forms of natural medicine. Be sure to talk to your doctor about symptoms you are experiencing, for a proper diagnosis. Continue reading “Fight the Winter Blues Naturally”

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Eat More Fruits and Vegetables for a Better Mood

Researchers in New Zealand found that people who ate at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day felt calmer and more relaxed than those who didn’t. The study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found a day-to-day relationship between those who reported a higher fruit and vegetable consumption and positive mood.

According to lead author, Dr. Tamlin Connor, “On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier and more energetic than they normally did.”

To achieve seven fruits and vegetables per day, try filling up half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. Besides having a positive effect on your mental outlook, you will also be giving your body fiber for good digestion, antioxidants to help fight cancer causing free radicals, and heart healthy vitamins and minerals.

If you find you are still struggling with this, try adding a greens drink or a berry drink like Berry Fusion to your daily routine.

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S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

If you typically feel the winter blahs or the February blues, then you might be experiencing SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. SAD is a type of depression that affects people in the winter months because of  the darkness from shorter days and grayer skies. It is more common in women than men and in the north than the south.

Symptoms of SAD can be low energy, anxiety attacks, weight gain, sleeping too much, and decreased libido, all of which typically begin in the late fall and alleviate in the spring. But here is the good news. People with SAD often respond very well to light therapy (phototherapy) and vitamin D supplementation as well as other forms of natural medicine. Be sure to talk to your doctor about symptoms you are experiencing, for a proper diagnosis.

Start taking a vitamin D supplement now. Even better, have your levels assessed at your doctor’s office using a simple blood test known as serum 25OHD. Vitamin D3 is now known to be useful for not only bone health, but also immune system health, inflammation, against all forms of cancer, and of course mood.

People with SAD have higher levels of melatonin, the brain chemical that induces sleep. Light therapy is helpful for SAD because full spectrum lighting regulates the production of melatonin. Melatonin regulates daily patterns. Full spectrum light bulbs and light boxes are available. Continue reading “S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)”

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  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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    Margo Gladding
    Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
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    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
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    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
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    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
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    Teri Cochrane
    Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
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    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
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    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
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