easy-candied-walnuts-1-665x435As the days get shorter during the long winter months, many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder along with its accompanying symptoms such as depression, oversleeping, feeling foggy, fatigue, cravings for sugar and carbohydrates, weight gain and memory loss.  It also does not help that during colder weather and environmental stress, we want to snack even more.  There are some foods that can help improve the way your brain produces certain neurotransmitters so that you are not at the mercy of S.A.D.  Here are some recipes for some healthy snacks, have the kind of nutritional benefits that can help ward of the Winter Blues

Spicy Honey-Glazed Walnuts

Keep in mind that this sweet and spicy recipe for a crunchy snack is not suitable for people who are allergic to nuts. Walnuts are associated with better memory scores, cognitive scores and may help reduce the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases. As they are also full of antioxidants and a good source of mood-improving B vitamins, they can help combat cognitive decline.

Makes 4 Servings.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

1 ½ cups walnuts
¼ raw honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 of a teaspoon ground cayenne
¼ teaspoon sea salt
coconut oil to grease the pan

Combine the honey, cinnamon, salt, and a small bowl and combine until well mixed. Add the walnuts until they are well coated with mixture.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Spread the walnuts out on the sheet and bake the walnuts for 10 minutes.   Allow them to cool and store in a container the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Curried Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc, which is necessary for the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel calm, focused and alert.  For best results, scoop the seeds directly out of a raw pumpkin, but you can also buy them raw in bulk.

1 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss the shells until well-coated.  Spread the pumpkin seeds out on a baking sheet and bake, for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Avocado Stuffed With Shrimp and Sauerkraut

This snack is stacked with nutrients that elevate your mood and supercharge your brain function. The avocado is full of good fats that nourish the brain and the shrimp contain zinc and tryptophan, which promotes a feeling of calm focus. The sauerkraut or kimchi in this snack, improves you’re the friendly bacteria count in your gut’s biome, which promotes feelings of relaxation and well-being.

Makes 4 servings

2 avocados, seeded and cut in half
½ pound peeled cooked baby shrimp
2 tablespoons of sauerkraut or kimchi
½ tablespoon sea salt.

Combine the shrimp, sauerkraut (or kimchi) and salt in a small bowl. Scoop the mixture into the avocado halves and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Salmon and Collard Leaf Roll-Ups

The omega-3 oils in salmon and the vitamin K in collard greens actively work together, making this an anti-inflammatory snack that provides you with the perfect mix and protein and carbs to keep you going in even the gloomiest of weather

Makes 6 servings.

1 bunch of collard green ripped in half from the stem (to use as wraps.
1 14-ounce package of smoked salmon
1 cup of plain full-fat yogurt
1 English cucumber sliced into thin matchsticks
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup of finely shredded carrots
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon raw honey

Do you suffer from a seasonal affective disorder, depression chronic fatigue, memory loss or weight gain? For more information about how to deal with these common conditions illnesses or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing, Toronto weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at http://www.pinewoodhealth.ca. You can also call our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. Send an email to info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services

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