Do you ever feel a depressed mood and low energy during the long winter months? You are not alone! Most Canadians will feel some degree of energy and moods changes during the winter and here’s why.
Vitamin D3 is needed for adequate production of serotonin in the brain. The way our body produces vitamin D is through sun light exposure. In the winter, Canadians do not receive enough sunlight to produce adequate vitamin D3.
Serotonin is the brain messenger responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. In winter months, there is a decrease in the amount of serotonin leading to the feelings of sadness or depression. Serotonin is also involved in regulating appetite. The body is continually trying to achieve balance; therefore, if the body is deficient in something, it will try to gain it somehow, usually through food. Cravings of chocolate, sweets or carbohydrates are common because it is high in tryptophan, an amino acid needed to produce serotonin. In the winter, a person begins to subconsciously eat a diet higher in these foods as the body tries to achieve the balance it is looking for. As a result, the poorer dietary choices associated with the decreased serotonin is responsible for weight gain. A diet lower in nutrients coupled with weight gain contributes to feeling down, sluggish, and less energetic.
Therefore, with the lack of vitamin D3, we produce less serotonin, which leads to a depressed mood, weight gain and lower energy. Unfortunately, we can’t store vitamin D in our body so receiving plenty of sunshine in the summer, will not hold us over during the darker winter months. With lack of sun exposure in our frigid winter months, supplementation is often required to prevent deficiency and increase mood and energy.
Come check out our selection of good quality vitamin D supplements and feel better this winter!