We go to work in the dark, come home in the dark and are indoors pretty much all day – it’s no wonder most of us get a bit down in the dumps in the winter months.
Yes SAD is an actual thing. Read more about the symptoms here – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/).
So, trying to keep our brains healthy at this time of year is just as important as keeping fit and in good shape… who is to say the two aren’t inextricably linked?
Your gut does more than move food from one end to the other. It’s responsible for absorbing the nutrients your organs — including your brain — need to function properly, and for holding back harmful bacteria and other molecules so they can’t get access to (and damage) the rest of the body. Therefore, if your gut microbiome is out of whack, your brain could be in trouble.
Some nutrients in particular seem to be strongly linked to good brain health, namely; omega 3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, seeds), B vitamins (eggs, green leafy vegetables, legumes and whole grains), Vitamin D (THE SUN; fortified breakfast cereals and juices) and selenium (found in brazil nuts and walnuts).
We also need to think about nurturing our stressed out and inflamed guts by doing some of the following;
• Eating raw yogurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles, or drinking kombucha or kefir, with live bacteria. Or, failing that, take a probiotic supplement.
• If your going to eat animal products, choose meat and dairy that’s antibiotic and hormone free, and comes from a trusted butcher or farm. Buy organic if you can.
• Be selective when taking antibiotics, which can kill the good gut bacteria. If you have to take them, build your belly bacteria back up through fermented foods and probiotics.
• Limit refined sugars and grains, which can make gut problems worse.
As well as getting the above goodness in, if you are feeling rough, maybe try to avoid some things which we know aggravate both gut and our minds: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods in general.
Easier said than done, I know! But that’s where people like us come in. All our meals and snacks are designed with your guts in mind.
Happy eating! 🙂