Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects people mostly during the winter season. However, SAD can also occur when summer changes into fall. As with all other types of depression, a decreased level of serotonin in the body triggers the condition.
Seasonal affective disorder can be treated by:
- antidepressant drugs
A less complex form of these treatments is by watching the food that a sufferer eats. SAD can be controlled by managing the types of food that positively or negatively affect this form of depression.
Foods To Avoid
Basically, foods that contain simple carbohydrates are not recommended for people with SAD. This is because these types of food are easily converted into glucose and causes blood sugar levels to increase in the body. This will, in turn, increase insulin levels in the body and eventually cause the blood sugar level to drop. When blood sugar quickly drops, it will lead to fatigue and low moods.
Examples of food that have simple carbohydrates include:
- white bread
- white rice
As much as possible, also decrease the amount of coffee intake. Caffeinated products also reduce the production of serotonin in the body, causing depression.
Foods To Eat
Foods that help prevent the occurrence of SAD basically contain:
- complex sugars
- essential fats (omega 3 and 6)
- vitamins (vitamin B-12)
- amino acids (tryptophan)
- minerals (selenium and zinc)
These types of food stimulate the body to produce more serotonin and help prevent depression. Examples of recommended foods include:
- fresh vegetables and fruits
- cold-water fish
- brown rice
- wheat germ
- fresh drinking water
The Link Between Vitamin B-12 and SAD
Studies have shown that a decreased level of vitamin B-12 increases the possibility of depression. Vitamin B-12 also helps the production of serotonin in the body. Thus, just like serotonin, an increase in the level of vitamin B-12 in the body reduces the risk of a person from being hit by depression.
Foods that are rich in tryptophan are also rich in vitamin B-12.
Some examples of these foods include:
The amino acid Tryptophan is primarily responsible for the production of serotonin. Thus, a diet with good quantities of this amino acid is highly recommended.