Changes in eating habits as the seasons change.
The nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping, as the seasons change from Summer to Autumn, as do our eating habits change.
What changes have you noticed in your food choices...
* Potatoes and vegetables instead of salad.
* Warming drinks instead of a refreshing juice
* Increased Carbohydrates
* Spiced Latte's instead of Iced Latte's
I've been reading an article by dietician Lilian Nwora Shepherd and she reports "there are good reasons for it," so lets investigate this further.
The days are shortening and are becoming more dank, the evenings are in turn lengthening, the countdown to Christmas has begun (26th September = 90 days) bringing seasonal highs but occasionally Mental Health lows, especially for those who suffer S.A.D. Season Affective Disorder - which is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern also known as 'Winter Depression.'
It is now that we notice a change in our appetite and eating habits, while this is customary it's not clear exactly why this happens. Is it wholly due to the change in weather? Or is it more to do with the alternative foods available during the different seasons.
Well its actually a combination of a number of things Lilian Nwora Shepherd informs us, as our bodies are intelligent objects that work hard to keep us regulated and balanced as the world changes around us, this is called Homeostasis. The key to this regulating our bodies temperature. As it cools down externally, our bodies core attempts to increase its temperature drawing us often to more warm, comforting foods in the Winter opposed to cooler lighter foods in the Summer.
Because our bodies are working harder to regulate a warmer core temperature as externally its cooler, our bodies and our immune system needs additional boosts to keep our well-being as healthy as possible. We consciously and subconsciously reach for "foods higher in antioxidants, zinc, iron and vitamin C, A and E."
Also the change in seasons make alternative foods (in-season) more readily available for instance Pumpkin, so cafes offer Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, comfort foods like Banana and Nut Bread, Butternut Squash Soup, Root Vegetable Soups, Chilli's, Stew's and Hot Chocolate Drinks.
During the darker, dank seasons when our moods are much lower it's important to do what we can to lift our emotions. Eating warmer comforting foods high in vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc play an important role in potentially boosting our Mental Health, together with staying active, good sleep and social interaction.
What are your go to comfort warming foods...
Please consult the websites of "MIND" or "NHS" if you suffer low moods during the Winter months or S.A.D.