This time of year can be tough for even the brightest of souls. The days are getting shorter, the mornings colder and our immune systems are taking a battering from a multitude of office viruses! Faced with the prospect of another endless UK winter, it can be hard to stay positive. And, as the grey days roll into weeks, it’s those closest to us who are most likely to get the brunt of our bad mood (and us of theirs)!
Are the autumn blues in danger of affecting your relationship?
Here are some top supplement recommendations to give your relationship a much needed boost through the coming months. Especially important if you’re not lucky enough to be escaping abroad for some winter sun & romance…
1) 5HTP – our bodies use 5-HTP to make serotonin, known as the “happy hormone” because it greatly influences our overall sense of well-being. Serotonin helps to regulate mood, relieve depression and help sleep. Low serotonin levels have been associated with low mood, anxiety, carbohydrate cravings and low sex drive.
2) B vitamin complex – we need the B vitamins for energy production in every cell of our body. Not only this but low levels of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid have shown to be a predictor of low mood -. The B vitamins all work in cooperation with each other, so best taken in a complex form.
3) CoQ10 – 95% of our body’s energy demands requires the aid of CoQ10. It can be thought of as the body’s spark plug- just as a car can’t run without that initial spark; the human body doesn’t get going without CoQ10!
4) Vitamin C – one of the biggest challenges through the winter months is to keep the immune systems in tip top condition. If you’re full of a cold, romance is going to be just about the last thing on your mind! As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is the ultimate immune booster.
5) Magnesium – sometimes referred to as “nature’s tranquillizer” some research has suggested that this calming mineral can aid relaxation & sleep and may help you to avoid those hot-headed, tired arguments at the end of the day!
6) Zinc – not only is zinc important for mood and mental health, it is also the ultimate, ahem, sex mineral. Yes, known to be a libido-booster, zinc may just recharge your sex drive! It’s one reason why oysters- which are high in zinc-have long been considered a powerful aphrodisiac. And an extra piece of good news for the boys…zinc has been shown to increase sperm motility. .
7) Vitamin D – “the sunshine vitamin”, a large majority of people in the UK are lacking in, as many as 90% in fact according to recent reports – And this is not good news for our mood and well-being. At least one study has reported benefits from vitamin D in treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that occurs during the winter months.
8) Omega-3 fatty acids – quite simply these are the building blocks of a happy brain! A study reported in Psychology Today found that that after a daily dose of the omega-3 EPA, a group of patients with stubborn depression reported a 50% reduction in their symptoms, particularly feelings of sadness, poor sleep and low libido
And don’t forget, with winter comes also cosy nights in, roaring fires, red wine & ahem… reason for an early night?!
Naomi Mead is a nutritional therapy’s at Food First, a London based nutritionist consultancy, and contributes to Healthspan’s Nutrition Expert site. She has a particular interest in the areas of weight management, female health, sports nutrition, and digestive disorders. If you would like to follow Naomi you can follow her on Twitter or read her other expert articles on Nutrition Expert from Healthspan.