Seasonal Affective Disorder – “Holiday Depression”?
Part 3 - Lack of Nutrients
In the northern hemisphere, the days get shorter and the darkness seems to win towards the holiday season around November-December.
In this 6-part series I will talk about possible causes of SAD - and what we can do to help!
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
For many people that darkness extends to their emotions, and they feel gloomy, down and generally miserable. They may be experiencing depression, sleep problems, weight gain, anxiety, joint pain, irritability, stress, or headaches. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), winter depression, or “Holiday Depression”.
What are the most important causes contributing to SAD?
- Lack of sunlight
- Holiday Treats
- Lack of Nutrients
- Increased Stress from the holiday season
- Lack of Exercise
- Regrets and Worries
What Can we Do about it?
- Light Therapy
- Reduce Sugary and Junk Food (as much as possible)
- Take supplements
- Relax – Your Holidays do not need to be perfect
- Move more
- Be kind to yourself – Exterminate the ANT’s from your Brain…
Each week I will talk about one of these issues.
So today here is Cause - and Intervention # 3 addressed:
Cause # 3: Lack of Nutrients
You may think: We live in a world of abundance, so how can we lack nutrients?
The sad truth: Our food, especially regular and processed food, has only a small percentage of the nutrients it used to have 50 or 100 years ago.
Why is that?
Intensive agriculture and the use of chemical fertilizers (which only contain a few minerals, not all of the nutrients a healthy plant - and human - needs, as well as the use of herbicides and pesticides have not only caused a massive decrease in nutrients in the soil. They also killed most of the beneficial micro-organisms that make good soil a rich, living environment where plants can grow and absorb all the nutrients they can so we can eat them.
In addition our changed gut microbiome (gut bacteria) as well as certain common medications (like proton pump inhibitors, the anti-baby-pill and many more - make it harder or impossible for us to absorb the few nutrients left in the foods we eat.
The result: A deficiency in nutrients. Especially in trace nutrients like trace minerals, phyctochemicals, antioxidant. And this leads to disease. Not the sudden diseases that modern medicine is great at curing, but slow, chronic diseases that develop in the "underground" for years or decades and then cause symptoms that are very hard to correct.
Read about my view of how disease comes about in my short video: "The barrel model of disease". It's funny, too!
Intervention # 3: Take the right Supplements
Now that sounds easier said than done. Which ones are worth taking and which ones aren't?
I always say that nutritional supplements have to be selected as part of a nutrition orchestra, which evaluates nutritional needs and actual food intake.
I do that as part of my famous Turn-Around-Assessment. Click on the button below to learn what exactly it is and what it can do for you!
What do I Mean by Nutrition Orchestra?
Well, you eat certain foods. You may be taking medications. You may be also taking certin nutritional supplements.
These all come together to nourish your body and make you the person you are and influence your physique, mood, thoughts and feelings.
I compare this with an orchestra. All players in a beautiful symphony have to be present and playing well together to make it sound beautiful.
It's the same with food and supplements. If you are only taking one substance by supplement, you may only be having the drummer in your symphony. Now that doesn't sound good, right?
What can you do?
I recommend getting a good and thorough assessment by an experienced health and nutrition practitioner. From there she/he can devise a clear step-by step plan on how best to improve your health and well-being, considering your preferences and all that's going on with you. Now, does that come cheap? Certainly not.
But it may prove priceless to improve your health and well-being! If your motor in your car breaks, you don't think twice paying thousands to have it fixed. You need your car.
But don't you need your body and health even more?
In Part 4 of the SAD series we are talking about how the stress of the holiday season can make you feel sad and tired - and what you can do about it !