This has been a particularly challenging winter. Due to Ithaca’s grey winters, I see many clients who deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD), a type of depression that comes on as the days get shorter and lifts as the light returns in the spring. This year, with the social isolation of the pandemic, even more people are struggling with low mood, lack of motivation, poor sleep, and anxiety.
Thankfully even though the grey skies and pandemic are unrelenting, there is hope! There are critical underlying nutritional deficiencies that play a significant role in clients feeling depressed, and when addressed, they start to feel much better!
Vitamin D is difficult to get through diet. Fatty fish and fish liver oils are the best food sources. Limited food sources combined with lack of sunlight and time outside during the winter quickly leads to deficiency. Vitamin D is Important for bone health, immune health, and also mental health. Supplementation in the form of cod liver oil or vitamin d3 makes a big difference.
Most people are fat deficient. They either do not eat enough, eat the wrong ones, and do not digest them properly. The essential fatty acids in fish are beneficial for mental health. Salmon and sardines are the safest and most sustainable to eat. We carry many different kinds of high-quality, high-potency fish oil supplements to customize what each needs to address this deficiency.
The most powerful relaxation mineral available, up to half of Americans, are deficient in magnesium. Spinach, Swiss chard, and buckwheat are some of the best food sources of it. Unfortunately, coffee, alcohol, soda, sugar, and stress all deplete magnesium from the body. Supplementing makes such a difference, especially when it comes to poor sleep and anxiety. Magnesium lactate, magnesium citrate, and magnesium glycinate are the best forms to supplement depending on individual needs.
I also like adaptogenic herbs, such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, and find they beneficial for winter and covid blues. Adaptogenic herbs are herbs that help the body cope and adapt better to stressors. Clients report feeling more resilient, having better energy, and a better outlook when taking them. I enjoy these herbs in a herbal coffee substitute called Rasa coffee, which you can now get at the office.
It has been a long winter and almost a year now since the pandemic started shutting everything down. Share with us if you are struggling.
We are here to help!