Beat the winter blues

January in our lovely city can be pretty grey and wet, it can feel like a long month for those people who suffer from the lack of daylight.

Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) or the less severe ‘winter blues’ effect up to one in eight people in northern Europe. SAD is a type of depression in which a lack of light is thought to affect the part of the brain that rules sleep, appetite, sex drive, mood and activity levels. Patients experience lethargy and a craving for sugary snacks.

If you think that you have SAD then you may wish to seek medical advice, however if it is the winter blues then maybe there are a few things that can help you at home.

Did you know that what we eat every day actually affects that super important chemical Serotonin. Serotonin is one of the major mood neurotransmitters in our brains. Simply put, when serotonin levels are low, we’re more depressed, and when they’re high, we’re happier. We get Serotonin from light but also from other sources.


80 to 90 percent of the human body’s total serotonin is found in specialized cells in our guts, not in our brains!

Therefore it is really important to be eating the serotonin we need. The highest concentrations of Serotonin are found in:

  • walnuts
  • plantains
  • pineapples
  • bananas
  • kiwis
  • plums
  • tomatoes

So on a rainy day, why not treat yourself to lots of wonderful, colourful fruit and vegetables. Don’t just concentrate on the list above – eat a big variety!


By Brenda Godinez – Unsplash


There is a cocktail effect in combining vegetables and fruits which is even more than the sum of the benefits of each individual vegetable.

So go on… let the sun shine in!