It's a vicious circle. People will often reach for the sweet jar to lift their depression, which always seems worse in the winter in the Northern hemisphere with the shorter days and lack of sunlight.
But they are a false friend that lift the mood momentarily but end up triggering a depressive episode and reducing feelings of well-being. Physiologically, processed sugars cause inflammation and weight gain, two factors that also make people feel more depressed.
Like alcohol, sugars can be addictive and act like a drug, researchers from the University of Kansas say. Processed foods are responsible for 10 percent of depressive episodes, the researchers estimate, and the problem is worse in the winter months when the lack of sunlight interferes with our sleep patterns.
Around 30 percent of people suffer some symptoms of winter-onset depression, and the best way to cope is by eating a diet rich in plant-based foods and omega-3 fatty acids.
The Get Well Show
If you are keen to learn more on some of the conditions mentioned in this topic, the Get Well Show is your chance to hear from some of the leading minds in alternative medicine.
Dr Rob Verkerk will be talking about how Your gut is the most important interface between you and the outside world on Friday, February 21st.