Do you find yourself weary of the short, darker days? Maybe you feel like you would like to feel more energised, brighter and healthier.

A drop in mood and lack of vitality in the winter months can lead to illness, fatigue and depression. How can you get back on track at this time of year?

Is Vitamin D the Answer?

A lack of light in winter makes a deficiency of Vitamin D common at this time of year. If you have pigmentation in your skin, your levels may be low. Although studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency with anxiety and depression, it is not necessarily going to be the complete answer to combating winter blues. However, it is worth making sure levels are good at this time of year. Food sources of this vitamin are not adequate therefore supplementation can be very helpful. 1000iu a day of Vitamin D3 would improve Vitamin D status.

Omega Oils

There has been research to show that omega 3’s in fish, flax and algae help to combat a low mood and anxiety. Eating omega rich foods such as walnuts, ground flax seeds, flax oil and taking an omega 3 supplement can have great benefits. See Rejuvenated Aliol, Terranova Organic Omega Oil and Bare Biology.


Magnesium has been shown to be extremely beneficial in helping with anxiety, depression and stress. It also helps with relaxation and so is effective in helping promote restful sleep. Taking Magnesium through a topical spray or orally in the late afternoon is ideal.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is involved in the production of norepinephrine and serotonin. Low levels of both of these neurotransmitters are associated with depression, so it makes sense that Vitamin C can have a positive effect on how good we feel. Serotonin is also known as the ‘happy’ hormone because of how it improves our sense of wellbeing. Peppers, guavas, dark green leafy vegetables, berries are all great sources of Vitamin C.

A Seasonal Approach

When it is dark outside, you can sleep more. Rest and go to bed earlier with a good book and have warm baths. Winter can leave you craving more carbohydrates foods but keeping the balance with an array of seasonal, organic foods will provide good levels of nutrients and help stave off winter illness and a low mood. Cauliflower, apples, celeriac, celery, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, purple sprouting broccoli and sweet potatoes are in season at this time of year.


There are numerous studies looking at how regular exercise can improve mood and depression. Warming the body and getting the lymph moving certainly has many benefits. Whilst it’s not good to overdo things and over tax the adrenals, a brisk walk, gentle run or yoga session will be highly beneficial. Getting outside as much as possible to get the fresh air and natural daylight is important for immunity and a positive mood.

If life is getting you down and you are not yourself, as well as incorporating lifestyle and dietary measures already mentioned you may benefit from increasing Tryptophan.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that increases levels of serotonin and melatonin in the brain. It is particularly effective when taken alongside Vitamin B6 and B3. Foods high in Tryptophan are whole grains, soya, yoghurt, beans, chickpeas and rice. 5-HTP (Griffonia Simplicifolia) offers even more advantages over Tyrptophan. 5-HTP causes an increase in the levels of endorphin and other neurotransmitters that are often decreased in cases of depression. In trials it has been shown to be highly effective in boosting mood and sleep and has even rivalled standard anti-depressant drugs. See Drasanvi Kalmansia