Winter is coming… and it’s time to brace your immune system for the cold ahead!
With days becoming shorter and the cooler weather creeping in, many people feel a sudden drop in their mood.
Of course, less sunlight and less time outdoors moving your body can make you feel sort of… bleh.
But did you know you can improve the way you feel by eating certain natural foods?
By eating foods that are high in vitamins B, C and D and rich in magnesium, iron, folate and omega-3 fatty acids, you can increase both your energy levels, and, in many cases, improve your mood.
Here are our top picks for snacks to beat the winter blues.
There’s a reason why some people call citrus fruits “liquid sunshine”. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes can help fight fatigue and depression, due to their rich vitamin C content.
Cherries and dark berries are also great mood enhancers. Loaded with antioxidants, berries are rich in folate which helps the brain produce serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters also help regulate the body’s sleep cycle.
We’d recommend trying…
Nature's Garden Probiotic Tart Cherries
This 20 oz (560g) bulk bag of Probiotic Tart Cherries is a treat meant to be shared! Our tart cherries are soft and chewy snacks, designed to fuel the body and mind, loaded with a long list of health benefits.
The antioxidants in dried tart cherries help protect your body against disease, while high vitamin C levels help repair body tissues. This makes Probiotic Tart Cherries a favorite post-workout snack for athletes and gym go-ers. Research also shows that tart cherries help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, as they increase the production of melatonin in the body. Whether it’s to rest or recharge, tart cherries have you covered.
Fish & Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Choose to incorporate fish in your diet that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s improve the function of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that processes feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, in addition to helping the brain produce serotonin and dopamine, the neurotransmitters directly linked to our moods.
We’d recommend adding a meal of salmon into your diet each week, which is loaded with vitamin D – a nutrient that our body generally lacks during winter due to less exposure to sun.
Magnesium plays a vital role in keeping our moods elevated. Low magnesium levels can leave you feeling fatigued and experiencing other mood-altering effects, such as muscle tension, an irregular heartbeat, insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
Snacking on nuts or adding them to your salads allow you to easily incorporate more magnesium in the diet. Nuts, such as pecans, walnuts and almonds, also contain the amino acid tryptophan, a neurotransmitter that can improve depression.
Nature's Garden Probiotic Immune Booster
Our Probiotic Immune Booster features a harmonious blend of almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pepitas, cranberries, tart cherries, and blueberries. The nuts pack a protein punch and fiber kick, helping to keep your hunger satisfied and body fueled up to conquer the day. Combined with the dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries which provides a blast of vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc to reduce inflammation, combat stress, and fight disease.
This 26oz (737g) bag is meant to be savored and shared with the entire family, designed to keep your energy high, cravings at bay, and belly full throughout your busy day.
And last but not least, this mood-boosting food that is fun to eat! Dark chocolate stimulates the production of the chemical serotonin, which acts as a natural antidepressant. As always, moderation is the key, so be sure to limit your portions and snack savvy.
Fun fact – a Swiss study found that eating just an ounce of dark chocolate daily for two weeks reduced stress hormone levels in people with high anxiety. So chow down!
Chocolate Orchard Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds
Whether it’s at the end of a long day, as a companion to movie night, or simply just to treat yourself, we’re all about balanced wellness here at Chocolate Orchard – and that means being naughty every now and again. And we recommend Chocolate Orchard’s Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds as the perfect cheat snack to indulge in.
Almonds provide a burst of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vital in maintaining a healthy heart. In addition to helping you lower your blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol. Almonds also pack a fiber punch, helping you stay fuller for longer. Not to mention the antioxidant benefits, provided by dark chocolate, known to help protect your body from disease.
Did you learn something new? Share this post with a friend who’s feeling the winter blues and stock your pantry now with all the Nature’s Garden snacks mentioned in this post.