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Depression on a Diet

November 4, 2009

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The days are officially shorter and colder. The clocks were turned back over the weekend, marking the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. This time of year, with fewer hours of sunlight and much of our day spent inside, also lead many people into their yearly winter blues. 

The winter blues aka Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), affects people who do not normally experience depression throughout the warmer months, or causes a marked increase in their depressive symptoms during the winter months. People with SAD often eat and sleep excessively and crave sugary or starchy foods. 

A recent article in the New York Times suggests a lower depression risk linked to the Mediterranean Diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil and fish.  If you are someone who is susceptible to the winter blues, try eating a diet rich in whole foods, and essential nutrients. Open the blinds and let the sun shine in during the daylight hours. Try to keep your home and work environment shining with as much natural light as possible during the day. Everyone needs a winter break. Perhaps you can also schedule a getaway to a sunny spot during the coldest part of winter. With the proper line of defense in place, you can survive the winter blues.

How do the winter months affect you? Do you have special practices to avoid getting the blues?