Seasonal Affective Disorder

The time is upon us when the air is crisper, the leaves are changing, all foods are spiced with pumpkin and the days are shorter. Yes, fall is upon us. During this time many people start to experience a change in their mood and usually are not aware of a specific reason why. With the dwindling lack of sunshine, our bodies seem to act adversely to the lack of light. This can cause an array of symptoms that can mimic depression.  According to www.mayoclinic.org, signs and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

While one may not feel all of these symptoms, you may feel some and there are ways to combat them even after seeing a doctor, therapist, medicine or utilizing light therapy. While I am not a trained nutritionist or dietitian, as a mental health professional I have researched the benefits of vitamin D rich foods being a viable source to help as an addition to any regiment that one may have when combating SAD. With that being said, I would like to share a recipe with you that is rich in those nutrients in hopes to help with seasonal sadness.

This is a simple and fast breakfast recipe that will get you can prep the night before or prepare in the morning within 5 minutes. Ricotta and Yogurt parfait with fruit packs a high source of calcium that is rich with vitamin D and also gets you started with a healthy breakfast. That is also an important component in fighting any type of depression. Below you will find the directions and nutrition facts for this easy and delicious recipe. You can also find the recipe and others at http://www.eatingwell.com. Happy eating while shooing away those ‘winter blues’!!!

 

Directions

  1. Combine yogurt, ricotta and lemon zest in a bowl or in an airtight container the night before. Top with raspberries, almonds and chia seeds when ready to eat.
  • ¾ cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup part-skim ricotta
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

Per serving: 258 calories; 10 g fat(3 g sat); 4 g fiber; 21 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 19 mcg folate; 19 mg cholesterol; 13 g sugars; 6 g added sugars; 251 IU vitamin A; 9 mg vitamin C; 385 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 125 mg sodium; 398 mg potassium

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