The sun as an anti-depressant
The gradual increase of daylight hours is a sure-fire sign that winter is mostly behind us and that we can start anticipating the arrival of spring.
This is great news for all those who are particularly sensitive to lack of light.
It’s believed that up to 15% of the population in the Nordic countries are affected by what is known as “winter blues”, characterised by a lack of energy and a sense of feeling down in the dumps, which may, in extreme cases, develop into real depression.
It is very often possible to treat seasonal depression by simply exposing the person to the spectrum of the sun’s light, a technique called light therapy.
A team of Chinese researchers have published a very interesting study on this topic. By using gerbils (small Mongolian rodent) as guinea pigs, and by depriving them of light, they observed that light therapy in animals displaying depressive behaviour was as effective as treatment with Prozac, an anti-depressant medication. In other words, the sun is an actual anti-depressant!
While waiting for spring, you can enjoy the sun even in winter by stepping outside for at least an hour a day, ideally for some sports.
Another way to fight depression is to also pay special attention to your diet, so that it is balanced and rich in Omega 3 and vitamin D.
If you want to stay fit, try this sample one-day menu from our Healthy with Pleasure meal plans.