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5 Home Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder


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Watch What You Eat
Eating oranges, cereal and tryptophan-rich foods can help boost your mood.
Eating oranges, cereal and tryptophan-rich foods can help boost your mood.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

The carbohydrate craving common in people with this disorder is thought to be caused by decreased levels of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin. Since tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, taking in more of this amino acid may increase the body's production of serotonin and help you feel better. Although there is no solid research that supports the benefits of eating tryptophan-rich foods, you might want to try eating more of these foods to see if your symptoms improve. Foods rich in tryptophan include turkey, milk, and egg whites.

Other foods to try:

Basmati rice. The sugar in this rice is slow to release into the bloodstream, which helps blood sugar levels stay constant instead of going through highs and lows. Drastic changes in blood sugar can lead to weight gain, which is a side effect of SAD. Other foods with a similar effect on blood sugar are rye bread and pasta.

Bouillon. When the carbohydrate craving is just about to defeat you, drink some hot bouillon or broth. Hot liquids in the belly are filling, and consuming them before a meal is an old diet trick that reduces food consumption. Better the bouillon than the banana cream pie.

Cereals. Cooked cereal, unsweetened muesli, and bran flakes are slow to release sugar into the bloodstream, which helps raise serotonin levels.

Fruit. Apricots gradually raises serotonin levels and helps keep them there, as do apples, pears, grapes, plums, grapefruits and oranges.