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Foods to Help Treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
By  | Healthy Living – Wed, 23 Jan, 2013 

Foods to Help Treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

By Gretel H. Schueller, Contributing Writer forEatingWell

Winter brings short days and chilly temperatures, and you might find your mood mirroring these bleak winter days. Of course, many of us feel a little more sluggish during winter but for some people the winter blahs can develop into a more serious type of depression.

In some cases, the winter blues develop into Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD), a form of depression that begins in late fall, peaks in January and February and usually fades by early spring. Common symptoms of SAD include extreme tiredness–the kind that makes you just want to curl up under the covers and sleep until spring–an intense craving for carbs (especially sweets), irritability, weight gain and the desire to avoid social situations. About 6 percent of the U.S. population falls into its grips annually, and about 15 percent more suffer from a milder version of the winter blues.

Don’t Miss: 7 Healthy Stress Busters: Soothing Foods and Calming Scents

What Causes SAD?
One theory holds that the increased hours of darkness disrupt the brain chemicals that affect mood, such as serotonin and melatonin. Some experts believe reduced sunlight causes vitamin D deficiencies–but whether that translates into depression is not entirely clear. There have been conflicting studies on whether there’s a causal connection between low vitamin D levels and depression. So when it comes to a clear cause for SAD, the jury’s still out. While light therapy appears to be one of the most effective treatments for SAD, what you eat can also play a role in alleviating its symptoms. Of course, as with any medical issue, talk with your doctor about treatments if you’re dealing with any kind of depression.

Related: 9 Simple Habits For A Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

Can Vitamin D Help?


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