Ways to stay healthy and happy in the winter

By Lauren Miskofsky
February 17, 2010

These days, summer is still out of reach and snow continues to cover the campus.  The mornings are getting colder, making it even harder to get out of bed.  Many people seem to be stuck in this winter slump that looks as if it is never ending. Luckily, you can cure those winter blues by eating right.

Blood flow is very important and not eating the proper foods can impair your blood flow and bring you into a lethargic mood.  Foods like vegetables, breads and cereals can increase blood flow and give you that extra push to get your day going and start it in the right direction.

Two easy ways to improve blood flow are to include Vitamin D and protein in your daily diet. Vitamin D is very important, because it triggers serotonin, which makes you happy and helps push winter blues aside. Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D, so in the absence of it, drink low fat milk and orange juices. Most cereals are also a great source of Vitamin D.  Depression is less likely when your diet consists of this vitamin.  Many people do not eat foods with a lot of Vitamin D and do not even realize it.  It is important to check some of the labels on the food you eat so that you can make sure you’re getting proper ingredients.

Protein is good ingredient that can also add to a better mood for your day.  Protein helps enhance the chemicals in your brain to make you feel more awake and bring forward the energy, which will make it easier to get out of bed in the morning. Lean meat, poultry and eggs are just a few examples of everyday foods that are a great source of protein.  Protein is a starting place to becomming more active not just in the winter, but all year round.

Jacky McDermott, sophomore elementary education major, credits protein for helping her everyday workouts. “Protein is something that gives me more energy when I’m running all over the field at practice so I usually try to start my day off with a good breakfast like an egg, so I’m getting what I need to feel energized,” McDermott said.

For those of you who enjoy the kitchen, cooking can definitely help to boost your mood.  Not only are different herbs and spices filled with ingredients that are healthy for your body, but it is a fun way to hang out with friends and be able to be inside without feeling lazy or bored.  Trying new meals with friends or learning to cook with your parents can make cooking more fun rather than a chore.  Rosemary is an ingredient that you can add to your food that is known to increase blood flow and add some flavor to ordinary dishes, like roasted potatoes. Also, mixing rosemary with some parsley and a little bit of lemon can make a wonderful seasoning for chicken or pork.

As depressing as winter can be, nothing helps make it better than adding a little spice to your diet and changing around what types of food you eat.  Eating is an important part of each day and adding the proper elements to those meals can leave you with a positive feeling inside and a smile on your face.

Lauren Miskofsky

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