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Diet and nutrition for seasonal affective disorder

Vitamin D is essential for treating SAD.
Vitamin D is essential for treating SAD.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Diet and nutrition play a huge role in treating seasonal affective disorder and other forms of depression. In the fall and winter many people succumb to SAD. Diet and nutrition can help bring them back from this depressed mental state. Getting proper nutrition through a balanced diet restores serotonin levels. A healthy diet filled with antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables provides the energy needed to overcome seasonal affective disorder.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin for good reason. The best producer of Vitamin D is the sun. In the darker fall and winter months, there's less sun exposure. The body stops producing adequate Vitamin D. Serotonin levels drop, resulting in seasonal affective disorder. Supplementing and getting more sun in winter months helps boost serotonin levels. Add Vitamin D to your diet and nutritional plan all year for greater health benefits.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is a key amino acid for serotonin production. People who are susceptible to seasonal affective disorder should be eating foods containing Omega 3 or supplementing with Omega 3 capsules. The best vegetarian sources are flax-seed and nuts, particularly walnuts. Omega 3 is also found in oily fish such as salmon, however, there is the mercury factor to be concerned with. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dietary supplements are readily available and inexpensive. Omega 3 should be taken to boost the immune system year round.


When it comes to boosting the immune system and increasing energy nothing works better than antioxidant power. People with seasonal affective disorder can increase energy levels by adding fresh fruits and vegetables to their diet and nutrition plan. This diet and nutrition change can add years to your life, fight seasonal affective disorder and get you through cold and flu season unscathed. Carbohydrates will also give you energy, but make sure they are "good" carbs.

Good Carbs

Good carbs are things like vegetables, whole grains and high fiber nuts and beans. People with seasonal affective disorder will often crave empty calories from items like chips, crackers and sweets. This is their body telling them to eat carbs. Carbohydrates will increase serotonin levels in the brain, just like Vitamin D and Omega 3. Try to resist empty calorie cravings and go for the good carbs instead. This diet and nutrition change gives a more long lasting energy boost.


Water should be an essential part of any diet and nutrition plan. Fall and winter months may leave us feeling dehydrated. We are less apt to drink water during colder months. Forced air heating is dehydrating as well. Water keeps all organs, including the brain running smoothly. Add water to your seasonal affective disorder diet and nutrition plan to keep the digestive system flowing. This increases energy levels and aids in the digestion of all nutrients.

Please Note: The author is not a licensed medical professional. This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice.


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This article was previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! property.

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