Symptoms of the Winter Blues include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. If you’re struggling with the Winter Blues, know that you’re not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), affects more than 3 million Americans every year. Along with participating in activities that bring you joy, taking doctor-prescribed medications and getting a healthy amount of sunlight – taking a daily supplement of folic acid can benefit your emotions well.
Several studies have linked lower levels of folic acid to higher rates of depression. The body uses vitamin B-9 in a number of ways, including to create serotonin, a feel-good chemical that helps you feel calm and relaxed.
For those taking anti-depressants, studies have found that folic acid can help the body better absorb the drugs. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671130)
Making folic acid part of your daily routine is as easy as including some foods rich in folic acid into your diet. That includes dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, oranges, sunflower seeds and lentils. Also, look for breads and cereals enriched with folic acid.
Of course, for those suffering from SAD, before doing anything else it’s important to visit with your physician.