It’s been emotional. When I say that, I am talking about lock-down. The first was like a well earned rest and not really a massive inconvenience, seeing as I was lucky enough to be furloughed.
The second lock-down was less welcomed, I listened to a lot of music and watched from my sofa as the drama unfolded. It was defined by my social media relationships and those who I regularly checked up on.
The third lock-down something changed. I am no longer enjoying this insanity, the long winter nights or the cold frosty mornings. Annually, I suffer from a heavy fog, S.A.D. also known as seasonal effective disorder. According to Observer.com studies have found that patients suffering depression often had low levels of Vitamin B6 and folic acid. For me, this means long hours in bed wondering what the fuck is going on? Added to that, this year the media propaganda was so intense, I had to stop watching the news after day 2 of lock-down to maintain some semblance of sanity.
My focus became my health. What I could take to stop the nightmares, what I could eat to maintain better skin and indigestion and what I could eat to lift my mood. In the first of my ‘good mood foods’, I stumbled across the humble sunflower seed and found out that this worked wonders in lifting my mood and reducing my overall anxiety. Here’s why.
The Sunflower Seed;
When reading up on sunflower seeds, one of the first things that most nutritionists mention is the anti-inflammatory benefits, due to high levels of vitamin E. This vitamin is commonly thought to help with combating wrinkles and the signs of ageing, as well as having a positive impact on the heart; lowering your risk of developing diseases like high blood pressure or heart disease.
Sunflower seeds are also thought to support the immune function, increasing the bodies ability to fight viruses according to WebMD.com. Given that viruses are a hot topic this is welcomed news. Another benefit is that sunflower seeds contain tryptophan—an animo acid that triggers the release of serotonin in the brain and promotes feelings of calmness, a reduction in anxiety and can even aid sleep.
During lock-down my quest to feed my fears have had a profound effect on my mood. At the start of the 3rd lock-down I was fed up, disheartened and started to loose focus and joy in every day things. Since I added sunflower seeds to my yogurt in the morning (and increased my intake of other good mood foods) I feel calmer and less anxious about all the scaremongering going on.
I combine mine with fruit too, for added vitamins but you could eat them on their own as a light nibble. Just remember that for thousands of years food has worked in keeping human beings balanced and not every cure comes in a bottle from a pharmaceutical company. Enjoy!