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Mood-boosting foods to help you ‘beat the winter blues’

Feeling blue as the weather gets colder? Below, a health expert offers ways to boost your mood with different foods.

Anne-Marie de Beer, nutrition, health and wellness manager at Nestlé East and Southern Africa, said much of what we do during this hibernation time is eat for comfort, mostly foods that are filling.

De Beer said the premise behind it is that food will, along with our heaters and fireplaces, help with the feeling of warmth, but what we don’t realise is we also need to boost our immunity during this time.

“Hearty winter food generally leaves us full and renders us couch potatoes. And before we know it, winter is over, we’ve piled on kilos, and we’re feeling the post-winter weight gloom, but that doesn’t have to be the case,” she said.

Here are De Beer’s suggestions on nutritious foods that can help boost not only your and your family’s immunity, but your mood.

Did you know bananas have a lot of vitamin B and magnesium, which are important for your thyroid and adrenal glands to function properly?

Go bananas
Winter drives us all crazy – but did you know bananas have a lot of vitamin B and magnesium, which are important for your thyroid and adrenal glands to function properly? These glands help regulate body temperature. Bananas can also boost your mood and preserve your memory, among other health benefits.

The greener, the meaner
Green veggies such as spinach and asparagus are high in folate, a vitamin that may help reduce symptoms of depression. Folate is needed in the brain for the synthesis of mood chemicals like norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.

Bottoms up
A simple way to help your body stay warm this winter is to drink water. Water keeps your body functioning at its best and helps regulate your internal temperature. People are less likely to drink water when it’s cold outside because they don’t feel as thirsty, but carrying a water bottle with you will serve as a reminder.

A glass of warmth
Our bodies require amino acids, vitamins and minerals to keep strong. The intake of all necessary minerals and vitamins can require a lengthy shopping list, but fortified milk-based drink can boost your family’s immunity and ensure added vitamins for a refreshed mood.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it energises your body for the day ahead.

Warming winter mornings
Start your day with a hot breakfast. Research has shown this can improve your cholesterol and provide important vitamins and minerals, while releasing the right endorphins to get your brain fuelled.

“Food is as much about our nutrition as it is about our state of mind, and during the colder seasons, this is even more so. We want warmth and comfort to help deal with the biting winter, but we should not compromise on nutrition and mood upliftment.

“After all, nutrition is about balancing your diet to support all your needs, but it doesn’t have to be boring,” De Beer concluded.