Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library

How to Beat the Winter Blues

By Penny Williams, Nutritional Therapist

Nutrition Hints for Beating Seasonal Affective Disorder

Do you feel you suffer from the winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder? Do you get those down feelings as soon as the clocks go back? Well you're not alone. It's estimated that 1 in 10 people in the UK suffer from the winter blues (approximately 6 million people).

So, what's this got to do with nutrition? Well, simple changes made through diet, supplements and lifestyle could really make the difference to how you feel.

There are two likely reasons for feeling blue in the winter:

1. Less exposure to sunlight causes brain levels of serotonin - the 'happy' transmitter - to fall (light stimulates the brain to produce serotonin).

2. You might not be eating so well (less fresh salads/fruit etc) and so not getting enough mood boosting nutrients.

The two most common factors associated with winter blues are: having less energy (wanting to hibernate); and just feeling low or depressed (just can't be bothered). Other issues, such as increased stress (especially leading up to Christmas) and increased bombardment from cold and flu infections, can all play a part.

So from a nutrition point of view we need to eat foods for high energy - foods that give the best 'miles per gallon'. These foods are - unprocessed, organic, nutrient-rich whole foods such as apples, pears and berries and all vegetables, and also whole grains (oats, brown rice, wholemeal bread), beans and lentils. If half your diet consists of these whole foods, you are on the right track for natural energy. Avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, biscuits, cakes and white rice.

To improve mood we need to look at foods that increase levels of serotonin, the brain's 'happy' neurotransmitter. A protein called tryptophan is converted in the body to serotonin, so we need to increase our intake of foods rich in tryptophan. This can be found in foods such as fish, turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, avocadoes and bananas. Also, eating foods rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids (found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, and also in seeds) is thought to stave off depression as it acts on serotonin function in the brain.

If the thought of eating lots of vegetables, fruits and whole foods seems difficult in the winter, think of making lots of warming soups, casseroles, hot berry desserts. Also, use what's in season - all those root vegetables, carrots, swedes, celeriac, turnips, leeks and onions. Try combining a selection with some vegetable stock and brown lentils to make a wholesome soup or casserole (add fresh/dried herbs for extra flavouring); and follow it with a delicious apple and berry crumble. Comfort food can be nutritious and can help you get out of the winter blues!

About The Author

Penny Williams is a nutritional therapist. She writes regularly for the LifeFirst - Dedicated to Wellness newsletter. If the links aren't working, paste this address to your browser bar:


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Trans4mind Training is the best thing we've ever done! It's a series of interactive video workshops covering the key challenges we all face in life - to help you achieve greater inner peace and true fulfillment.
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd