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Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder with food

The sun goes down earlier and rises later these days. The loss of daylight causes many people to develop a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The simple remedy may be something you already have in your kitchen.

Food choices can help your brain regulate hormones that influence your mood.

Medical experts said the brain senses darkness and increases the amount of the hormone melatonin, which tells your body that it’s time to ramp down and rest or sleep.

This process also reduces the amount of serotonin, which makes us feel happy and energetic.

Registered dietician and holistic nutritionist Ellie Freeman said eating a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can balance chemicals in the brain and stabilize your mood.

She said excellent sources are fish as well as flax seed.

“You can just grind it up and put it in some yogurt,” Freeman said. “You can put it in a smoothie or even sprinkle it into some of your baked goods.”

Freeman added that taking cues from mother nature is a great idea. Eating root vegetables that are in season during seasons when daylight is limited will increase your absorption of serotonin.

“It’s interesting to think that root vegetables which are complex carbohydrates are in season when we need our mood to be boosted,” Freeman said.

A good cup of hot chocolate will also do the job. Just make sure it’s made with unsweetened ground dark cocoa and limit the sugar you add.

Simple dietary changes can help ward off that down in the dumps feeling until the sunny season arrives again.

If you have a severe problem with depression you should contact your physician.

By Shaul Turner