Here in Hawaiʻi, we typically enjoy sunshine and tropical weather throughout the year . I guess thatʻs why (among other reasons) we feel “Lucky We Live Hawaiʻi”. Thereʻs no doubt sunshine has its benefits. For example, studies have shown that appropriate exposure to sunlight can increase the body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D, as well as create nitric oxide in the body, which is a blood pressure-reducing compound.
However, for the past few weeks we have been enduring a lot of rainy days, which may be dampening your mood. There’s a good reason you may be feeling that way! Research has shown that the lack of sunlight can reduce serotonin levels (the mood-lifting chemical in our brain), which often leads to the development of a disorder called, SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Although we welcome these rainy days, as it provides water for our plants and trees, sometimes it leaves us feeling listless (especially when we are so used to our warm balmy weather here in Hawaiʻi). Based on the weather report, it looks like we have a lot more rainy days ahead. Thus, to overcome these SAD days, it is important to stay active and feed your body healthy foods.
For instance, choose foods rich in:
- antioxidants including those packed with beta-carotene (carrots, pumpkin, kabocha squash, spinach and sweet potato), vitamin C (tomatoes, kale, papaya, red/white cabbage, lemon, pineapple, and mango), and vitamin E (nuts, seeds, kale, sesame seeds, avocado, sweet potato)
- complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, garbanzo beans, lentils, soy beans, avocado, nuts, seeds, and brown rice; and
- protein like soy products, tofu, kale, beans, spirulina and hemp seeds.
Luckily, here at ʻAi Love Nalo we provide a plant-based diet that includes ALL of these foods listed, which can help to brighten your spirit and curb those rainy SAD day blues. Come visit us, I’m sure you will be happy you did.
Hope to see you soon…sunshine!