Feeling SAD? The Sunday Telegraph shares Kay Ali’s nutritional advice to help beat the winter blues.
Anna Hart as featured in The Sunday Telegraph. Photograph by Andrew Crowley.
Yesterday, The Sunday Telegraph published an incredible article about Seasonal Affective Disorder. It was written by the wonderful and exceptionally talented journalist, Anna Hart. I was particularly impressed with the article because not only is she my client, she approached her condition holistically; looking at everything from sleep quality and light therapy to nutrition. Reading through her experience of trying to beat winter depression, I felt very proud of her. She absolutely nailed my nutritional advice. Here’s what she had to say:
“I always felt I ate quite well… But after hearing friends rave about the services of Nutritional therapist, Kay Ali, I realised that my scattergun approach to healthy eating could probably use a few tweaks. She specialises in cutting through the swamp of conflicting dietary advice out there, and developing a bespoke plan for each client. What I need to focus on, according to Ali, is supporting brain function, reducing inflammation and regulating my hormones.
The most important place to start, she says, is with your gut health. “Scientists are starting to realise the strong link between a healthy gut and our moods. Apparently, 95 percent of serotonin is made in our gastrointestinal tract. An imbalance in gut flora, alongside inflammation and intestinal permeability, impairs our ability to make serotonin, with an immediate effect on our moods.”
Winter squash. Photograph by Keilidh Ewan.
Spot on Anna. That’s why I recommended she eats fermented food everyday and supplements with a good quality probiotic. It’s all about psychobiotics; supporting your beneficial gut bacteria to positively influence your psych. Eating a quarter plate of starchy tubers like winter squash, sweet potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes in place of classic carbohydrates like pasta, bread and rice is good mood food too. They’re high in prebiotics, which help to feed your helpful gut bugs.
Anna shared much more advice than that. She went on to say:
“We might be in the midst of a vegan revolution, but if you’re still eating meat, she suggests ethically-sourced organic beef once a week. Her top tip? Calves’ liver. “Calves’ liver contains 36 times more folic acid than any other red meat, 10 times the amount of vitamin B6 and 60 times the amount of B12,” She says.”
That’s right, I did say that. The reason why you want to be eating foods high in those nutrients is because they’ve been shown to play an important role in serotonin synthesis and neurotransmitter function. So they should do wonders for our moods.
"I feel like... I might be able to medicate myself naturally through nutrients rather than resorting to medication." Anna Hart.
My protocol for Anna was very detailed. We looked at increasing the amount of Omega 3 EPA and DHA she’s eating; as well as building a supplement plan that covered essential nutrients for brain health like vitamin D. It’s amazing that she says she is feeling better already. What’s more is she feels more hopeful than ever before. I don’t claim to treat my clients nor do I recommend anyone comes off their medication without the support of their general practitioner. However, the fact that she feels that for the first time she “might be able to medicate [herself] naturally through nutrients rather than resorting to medication” is astounding.
If you’d like to read more about my protocol for Anna and the other holistic methods she has adopted to help improve her wellbeing you can read the full article here.
Kay Ali, Registered Nutritional Therapist & Co Founder of You Need A Nutritional Therapist.