Avoiding Depression this Holiday Season

Avoiding Depression this Holiday Season

Everywhere you go, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Sadly, the hustle and bustle of holiday prep brings with it a reliance on fast, convenient foods, especially up until the day of the feast, which is full of rich, traditional, comfort treats. It’s no wonder my yoga class is filled mat to mat come January – getting back on the health bandwagon is on everyone’s mind by that time!

Instead of giving into the chaos, set a plan to Blast daily and eat healthy throughout the holiday season. Blasting will not only keep you healthy, but happy as well, as new research is finding.

Research shows that continuously making poor food choices consisting of inflammatory foods like those found in the typical Standard American Diet (SAD) may impact your state of mind. According to the Centers for Disease Control, depression affects nearly 1 in 10 US adults. It's a sad fact, but what if I told you, by the time you’re done with this article, you’ll know the secret to befriending your mother-in-law and you'll always be up for another round of “Jingle Bells” with Aunt Sally? Well, I can’t guarantee that, but I will share the three types of foods to avoid - those found to increase risk of depression and then give you some great mood-boosting NutriBlast ingredients and recipes that will allow you to “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas”!

Avoid These Depressing Foods

  1. Refined grains – Now, I’m not promoting the low-carb craze and I actually am excited to hear it's on its way out! Refined grains are a bit different from your normal complex carb, though. Refined grains are those that are stripped of their nutrients and processed into those beloved sweet pastries, enriched breads, white pastas, bagels and donuts. When choosing grains, look for whole grains such as quinoa, oats, teff, millet, barley, brown rice and others that retain all three nutritious layers (the bran, germ, and endosperm). Nix the white stuff!
  2. Sugar-laden soft drinks – Remember the old Coca-Cola cans with Santa Clause on them? What a great marketing campaign to boost sales during the holidays. Soft drinks, however, have nothing to do with the holidays and should not be a staple in your daily diet anyway. One twelve-ounce can contains nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar, most likely in the form of high fructose corn syrup. No good will come out of sugar water, especially your mood.
  3. Fast food – We’re all about convenience – online shopping; hello! However, when it comes to your health, the most convenient foods are often not the healthiest. Look to nature’s “fast food” – raw fruits and veggies instead of a McDisaster! Fast foods are high in sodium, saturated fats and unhealthy ingredients, causing inflammatory responses in the body, which as research shows over time may lead to a more permanent case of the “Mondays.”

What ingredients can help elevate your mood?

  • Cacao contains several compounds that promote feelings of love and happiness, most notably phenylethylamine (PEA), anandamide, tryptophan, and serotonin. Try some raw cacao nibs or powder in your next dessert NutriBlast.
  • Almonds
  • Oats, rich in selenium
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts and Hemp seeds, rich in Omega-3s
  • Brazil nuts, rich in selenium
  • Antioxidant-rich produce: blueberries, broccoli, strawberries, peaches, cooked sweet potato, oranges, leafy greens; plus many more…

Beat the Blues Blast

  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw almond butter
  • ¾ cup organic blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

So start NutriBlasting this holiday season and see the difference it can make in your mood.

Registered Dietitian

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