(BPT) – Winter got you down? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is estimated to affect 10 million Americans, according to Psychology Today. Another 10 percent to 20 percent may have mild SAD.
Even if you don’t have diagnosed SAD, it’s not uncommon to have bouts of the winter blues. There are many reasons people experience a « winter funk: » cold weather, little sunlight, shorter days, limited outdoor activity, etc.
Additionally, between the months of November and March, the lack of vitamin D absorption from the sun can be taxing on your immune system and may also be contributing to your winter blues.
Dubbed « the happy vitamin » by some researchers, vitamin D could be the key to turning seasonal frowns upside-down. Maintaining vitamin D levels during the cold winter months may help keep you healthy during cold and flu season while also boosting your mood.
What’s more, vitamin D may help you maintain a healthy weight. It’s no secret that many people experience weight gain due to the flood of comfort foods available during cooler months. This, paired with lower physical activity, causes many people to put on a few winter pounds.
According to a study quoted in Men’s Health, a University of Minnesota doctor found that people with adequate vitamin D levels lost more weight than those with low levels, even though all study participants reduced their calorie intake equally.
To get all the benefits of vitamin D, start by adjusting your diet. Vitamin D occurs naturally in eggs and oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, but it’s important to look for foods that contain even higher levels of vitamin D to naturally boost your intake, especially in the winter.
« Food is quite literally one of the best medicines out there when it comes to improving your mental and physical health, » says registered dietitian nutritionist, Dawn Jackson Blatner. « One of my favorite tips for boosting Vitamin D intake is to simply swap out ordinary eggs for Eggland’s Best eggs, since you’ll automatically get six times more vitamin D – it doesn’t get any easier than that! »
In addition to added vitamin D, Eggland’s Best eggs provide superior nutritional benefits such as 10 times more vitamin E, double the omega-3s, more than double the vitamin B12 and 25 percent less saturated fat than ordinary eggs.
A healthy diet that uses mood-boosting ingredients doesn’t have to be boring. Get creative in the kitchen and try new recipes featuring vitamin D-rich ingredients like this BLT Salmon Caesar Salad from Eggland’s Best and TheAlmondEater.com.
BLT Salmon Caesar Salad
Makes two servings
1 salmon filet, baked and seasoned to your liking; 2 slices bacon; 1 Eggland’s Best egg (large); 5 cups lettuce; 1/2 cup tomatoes; 1 avocado, sliced; 1 cup croutons; 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese; 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing
Heat bacon in a skillet and cook completely; set aside and then cut or break into bite-size pieces once cooled.
Soft boil the egg over the stovetop.
While egg is cooking, place lettuce in a large bowl and add tomatoes, avocado, croutons and cheese to the bowl; stir to combine.
Next, add the baked salmon to the salad, along with the bacon; add the Caesar dressing and stir to combine.
Last, add the soft-boiled egg and enjoy!