Well, it’s that time of year again when the teens come home from school with the blahs, otherwise known as winter blues. Part of that—besides hating every minute spent locked inside the classroom—is the lack of sun, and believe me, where I live, there is a total lack of sun this time of year.
So for you teens with the winter blahs, there are a few things you could do. (No, it does not involve dropping out of school and hanging out on a sunny Caribbean beach all day!—although I kind of like the sounds of that.)
Mood foods have an impact on the brain. Now, that impact can be either positive or negative. This is all based on the components in the food, how they’re absorbed, and the chemical reaction that takes place.
When the sun isn’t shining and we’re all lacking vitamin D, we need to get it from out foods. Vitamin D seems to increase the amounts of serotonins, one of our neurotransmitters responsible for mood. Vitamin D also helps with SAD, seasonal affective disorder.
So where can you get vitamin D: fish with bones, fat free and low-fat milk, fortified soy milk and egg yolks. Because vitamin D-rich foods are so limited, it’s often beneficial to take a daily multivitamin which provides 400 IU.
Be sure to avoid additives and sugary food that can ‘fog’ the brain and try to eat unprocessed, whole nature foods like fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, quinoa and proteins.
Here’s a great recipe that I’ve been using for year. Low fat, and packed with nutrients, whole grains, apples (they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away) and even chocolate.
¾ cup butter
1 and ¼ cup pure creamed honey
2 eggs, organic if possible
1 and ½ cup almond butter
1 tsp pur vanilla extract
1 large apple, cored, peeled and cubed.
3 cups whole-wheat or spelt flour
¼ cup ground flax
1tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chopped into small bits
Heat oven to 180C. (350F) Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer beat butter, honey, eggs, almond butter and vanilla. Stir in cubed apple.
In a separate bowl, place flour, flax, baking soda, salt and chocolate, mix using a fork.
Fold dry ingredients into wet until combined. Scoop rounded tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheet a finger space apart. Bake f r 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Make 4 dozen.
This recipe is from Ontario Apple Growers. Click here to learn more.
Be sure to check out the Good Mood Food Blog: