The fall, especially October, is one of my favorite times of year. Fall is the time we get to cozy up in our favorite chunky sweaters, watch the leaves turn beautiful colors, and enjoy hardy, comforting root veggies that are right in season. But with all its beauty, and plentiful activities (pumpkin picking anyone?), for many of us the change of seasons can coincide with a dip in our mood.
As weather shifts, we tend to change the types of foods we eat, how we exercise, and even our sleep patterns can change, which in turn often impacts our mood and hormone health too. As a result of all this change we may find ourselves feeling more sensitive, more tired and in some ways more low energy.
Many factors, including (but definitely not limited to) our genetics, exercise, our relationships, thyroid health, and what we put in our mouths can impact how we feel and alter the delicate balance of our hormones. The good news is there are things you can do to help improve your mood and feel more like your summer self!
To get you on the way to a mood-happy, thyroid-healthy October and fall, here’s our kickoff to help you feel awesome this season.
6 Nutrients to Help You Feel Awesome This Fall
1. More fatty fish & healthy fats
Healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids as well as monounsaturated fats are so key for hormone health, brain health and mood. Healthy fats are also key for keeping the bacteria that lives inside of us healthy as well.
- Include avocado
- Include ground flaxseed, chia seeds
2. B vitamins
Lots for research has shown that B vitamins—B12 and folate in particular—may help to improve mood, and possibly ward off depression. You can find B Vitamins in foods like beef, fish, chicken, leafy green vegetables, and eggs.
3. Chocolate is always a good idea
Yes, I said it! The darker the better. Chocolate contains magnesium- which is key for mood and thyroid health. Try to choose really good quality stuff though. Like Eating Evolved, Pascha or Hu Kitchen.
4. More tryptophan foods
Tryptophan gets its notoriety as the amino acid in turkey that makes us sleepy at Thanksgiving. But, what many people don’t realize it’s also an essential building block for serotonin. Low level of tryptophan have been correlated to many mental health and mood disorders including anxiety and depression. Incorporate foods like chocolate, oats, yogurt, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, buckwheat, seeds, spirulina.
5. If it looks like a tree-eat it: Broccoli, cauilflower, kale.
We love our veggies, especially nutrient dense vegetables. like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower. These foods are extremely antioxidants including beta carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols that work to help protect the brain. They are also high in mood boosting minerals like magnesium, chromium, folate, and vitamin k.
6. Selenium-rich foods
Selenium is key to one of the body’s master antioxidants, glutathione peroxidase an essential protector of our cell membrane from oxidation. Selenium along with iodine seems to be important to thyroid hormone production as well. The best food source for selenium is actually brazil nuts , one ounce will get you over 500 micrograms.
Magnesium plays an important role in chemical reactions throughout your body. Magnesium is also important for mood health. Research has shown this essential mineral counters stress stimulates GABA receptors, reduces stress hormones, increases serotonin, and can help brain plasticity. Magnesium rich foods include chocolate (yay!), figs, avocados green leafy veggies, nuts, and seeds.
Please don’t forget to make time for yourself. Think about what makes you happy, and take time to enjoy the things that make the fall so special.