Overshoes and winter blues
OVERSHOES AND WINTER BLUES: 9 FOODS TO HELP BOOST YOUR MOOD
Some people escape the winter by heading to warm climate training camps, sipping espressos with matching helmet, kit and glasses. It’s not possible for everyone, for many it’s on with the gloves, extra jackets, pairs of socks and overshoes. With all this added kit it can often make those miles feel longer, and those hills a little bit steeper. In turn effecting the motivation to want to get out and ride, that’s never a good thing. At this time of year little extra motivation, or boost can go a long way. So we have put together a few things that you can pick up on your next supermarket run that have both nutritious and mood boosting benefits to help you during those darker colder rides.
During winter, in the UK we don’t get as much exposure to sunlight; this can lead to a dip in the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. One of the best foods for supporting serotonin production is turkey. It’s high in the amino acid tryptophan, the building block to creating serotonin.
Leafy green vegetables are packed with vital B vitamins such as folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12. A lack of B vitamins can impact production of serotonin. Eating your greens is a tasty way to help keep the serotonin levels up and depression at bay.
Berries are packed full with anthocyanidins, known to help boost brain function and support the nervous system. As well as being nutrient rich, one of the best things about berries is that despite being sweet, they’re low in sugar. This means you can snack away without spiking your blood sugar levels.
Like the berrys, bright purple foods and berries may help clear our minds. Their pigment colouring indicates the antioxidants they contain. Theseantioxidants help the body produce nitric oxide, a compound that, by relaxing blood vessels, may help blood flow as well as helping in other ways.
Sleep is essential for balanced moods and energy. Oats have been associated with calming us for centuries. Adding alomond milk can give them an extra boost too.
Oily fish such as salmon are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids. The modern day diet is often deficient in omega 3, leaving people susceptible to low moods. A large percentage of our brain tissue consists of these fatty acids. Therefore we need to ensure we provide our body with a good supply, so our brain messengers can work well.
Green Tea contains some caffeine, which gives you a bit of a lift, but also contains the amino acid theanine, which can have a relaxing effect and may help relieve anxiety and mental stress, potentially by increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA, which has a relaxant effect).
Avocados are a good source of magnesium which helps with efficient energy production, while also helping to calm the nervous system.
Chocolate contains several substances that may improve mood, including phenylethylamine, which can act as a brain neurotransmitter and affect mood and pleasure. Also magnesium, one of the nutrients needed for the production of serotonin.
Eating any food you enjoy also stimulates endorphin release, which makes you feel good. So does sharing food with others. However sometime you might need more support. From a someone trained. Check out our support page for more infomation.