Fighting Winter Blues With Food - Sip It Up #4 – The Smoothie Bombs

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Fighting Winter Blues With Food - Sip It Up #4

Winter is a time for slowing down. A bit like bears going into hibernation, most of us are quite content to stay home longer, flicking the heater on full and tucking into some enthralling Netflix series to escape the cold. But for those who suffer from depression, winter can really be a time of dread. Grey skies, short days and rain that never seems to quit.

How do you help overcome those winter blues?

An Australian team of scientists headed by Prof. Felice Jacka are leading the way in research on what foods are best for reducing anxiety and improve mood. We know that what we eat affects how we feel so making the right food choices are important all the time but particularly pertinent this time of year.

Samantha asks:

how can I help support my body as I suffer from depression and anxiety?

Above all, speaking with your doctor regarding mental health is the first step. Then you can compliment your diet in support of your treatment.

A healthy mind depends on having a healthy gut. We have all experienced what it feels like to indulge in foods with no nutrients that are highly processed- we crave them when we are tired and down for a quick fix. Then soon after eating them only feel worse and more sluggish. This too is counterproductive when suffering from depression. Eat foods that will nourish your body and your mind.

So start by supporting a healthy microbiome. Eat foods rich in prebiotics like bananas, apples, oats, leeks and asparagus. Include garlic and onion in your dishes and make hot drinks from Chicory root (a caffeine-free replacement for coffee).

Also try to include probiotic foods as part of your regular meals. Foods like sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, Kombucha and pickles. Maybe look at adding Kefir (comes in coconut or cow’s milk variety) on your breakfast cereals. These foods are full of good bacteria that work as a defense team against the bad bacteria doing your system harm.

Include these daily:

  • Fresh leafy greens and a variety of vegetables in your soups, stir fries and stews.
  • Foods rich in omega 3 & 6 for improved brain function including nuts and seeds like hemp seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, plant oils like flaxseed and would you believe Brussels sprouts!
  • Get plenty of sleep to allow your body the time to repair.

how can I help my body when it is my monthly cycle?

Along with helping to improve diet like I mentioned in the previous answer, it is also important to keep an eye on your iron and vitamin D levels. Ask your doctor on your next visit to check these. Low iron will make you feel lethargic, light headed, and cause headaches while also affect your monthly cycle.

Spending less time out in the daylight at this time of year is also likely to drop your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is beneficial in many pathways to ensure optimum body functions including hormone balance and mood.  

A good Vitamin B complex tablet can help support energy levels, healthy growth and function of organs, and helps support the brain and heart.

Please note that Vitamin B should be taken after a meal as it may make you feel queasy on an empty stomach.

Much love,

 cinzia cozzolino, the smoothie bombs founder
(BHSc Nutritional Medicine)

P.S  don't forget you can send me a health question to and I'll do the nutrition research to find the best answers for you! 😃 

For more info on Prof. Felice Jacka research, Here is a link to her book Brain Changer: The Good Mental Health Diet

A Podcast when she speaks with Max Lugavere (author of Brain Food) on her findings:

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that have read on this blog or in any linked materials.

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