Tips to Fight the Winter Blues with…Food!

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Despite reports of just having another “average” winter in Montreal, for most of us, it’s been a long and painfully cold one that’s taken a toll on our moods! Now that the days are getting longer and the urge to hibernate is fading away, here are a few ways that your diet and lifestyle can help you make it through these last few weeks (hopefully!) of winter!

1. Get enough Vitamin D! Our main source of Vitamin D is not from our diet, but from the rays of sun themselves, so it’s natural for most Canadians and Northern Americans to be low on this vitamin during the winter. Milk enriched with Vitamin D and fatty fish like salmon and tuna are our best bet to obtain it from foods, but most of us need a supplement of at least 400 IU a day to make sure we are getting enough. Vitamin D has a slew of benefits, including that it might help alleviate some symptoms of depression and possibly increase sex drive.

2. Don’t Skip breakfast.  The benefits of breakfast are endless: studies continually show a good breakfast can help us reduce and maintain a healthy weight; it helps us feel more mentally alert, and can kick-start our metabolism for the rest of the day. Don’t forget that quality is also important in breakfast too. You want to make sure to have a protein-rich breakfast to keep you full, balanced with carbohydrates from fruit, and whole grains to give you energy.

Example: Egg (protein-rich) + whole grain toast (carbohydrates) + fruit  (carbohydrates)

3. Stay Hydrated! We may not think that winter would be the time to keep ourselves hydrated, but dry air can really take a toll on our hydration levels and leave us feeling sluggish. Take this opportunity to enjoy many warm, soothing beverages like tea, which also have antioxidants to give your health an extra boost in addition to keeping you hydrated.

4. Exercise! Exercise itself releases chemicals in our brain that make us feel more energized, alert and happy, which is a great way to fight winter blues. Try winter sports like ice skating and snowshoeing, or make it a point to walk around your building at lunch or up and down some stairs at home. Any activity (even 5 minutes a day!) can help!

For more information or to book an appointment with a dietitian, call 514-684-9073 or click here

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