The clocks have gone back, with less daylight and longer nights, and for some this can bring on a condition known as SAD, seasonal affective disorder.
Although, the exact cause of SAD isn’t fully understood, experts theorise that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, affecting the production of the key mood and sleep hormones, melatonin and serotonin.
It’s also considered that lack of vitamin D synthesis, normally a process of the sun on the skin, can affect mood, and the Government recommends that everyone in the UK supplements with appropriate vitamin D from October to March to protect against deficiency.
Interestingly, in addition to recommending vitamin D during the winter months, leading ethical vitamin company Viridian Nutrition has just unveiled the spice saffron as the ‘Viridian Ingredient of the Year 2018’.
Experts at Viridian Nutrition have forecast the vibrant-red spice will be significant in the world of health in the year ahead. Saffron, which comes from the stigmas of the delicate Crocus sativus flower, has a long history in traditional healing and as a culinary spice. In modern times, its health properties have attracted considerable scientific interest. Chief among them are studies on its uplifting and antidepressant activity, and research into enhancing cognitive ability.
Crocus sativus is native to Southwest Asia, but the most-prized saffron is cultivated in Iran. The flowers usually produce three stigmas which are gently hand-harvested in October, farm workers then carefully separate these rust red strands from the petals. It is this labour-intensive harvest that is responsible for its costly reputation. Indeed, weight-for-weight, saffron is more expensive than gold. Interestingly though, the recommended intake as a food supplement is a purse-friendly 30mg daily.
After reviewing a vast array of nutrition and herbal research, and speaking with leading influencers, Viridian Nutrition has duly recognised saffron, naming it the ‘Viridian Ingredient of the Year 2018’ in further anticipation of its positive influence on health.
Saffron has been endorsed by numerous experts including Medicinal Chef, nutritionist and author Dale Pinnock, said: “We all know saffron from Spanish cookery, but there’s some really interesting research published over the last few years that shows when taken in supplemental form, as a concentrated extract of about 30mg a day, there could be interesting influences on depression – and it has been compared with well-known herbs like St John’s Wort.”
Saffron extract together with vitamin D could prove to be the right programme to help you banish those winter blues. More information from Sheaf Street Health Store.
Sheaf street health store lecture series
Food Fermentation for Health & Social Change
NOVEMBER 9th, 7-9pm, Sheaf Street Health Store
Food activist, blogger and bodyworker Darren Ollerton runs a local food and health education project in Brighton called Alchemy Flow. In this engaging talk he brings together current research and insights into food, health and healing to show how the simple act of fermenting in the home kitchen can not only benefit ourselves personally but reverberate into wider social, political and environmental realms. Afterwards, he’ll run an interactive demonstration teaching traditional ferments like sauerkraut and kimchi.
BOOK TICKETS: Tickets are £10 (redeemable against purchases in the night, T&Cs apply), available from Sheaf Street Health Store.
Charitable Christmas gifts
The Daventry 2018 Calendar, Daventry Christmas Cards and Daventry Notepad are now available.
These items are the brain-child of local historian, Lawrence Wheeler (founder of ‘Thank You Daventry for the Memories’ Facebook page), and funded by Sheaf Street Health Store, who have paid for all the production and printing of the items, so that 100% of the income goes to local charities: Pete Spencer’s ‘Helping Hands’ and the breast cancer charity ‘CoppaFeel’. Featuring old and new images taken by local photographers throughout the items, they make perfect Christmas gifts – and raise funds for these local charities.
You can purchase any of these items now from ‘Sheaf Street Health Store’ or ‘Daventry Museum’. Your support is greatly appreciated . . . and remember 100% of what you spend goes to the charities.
Sheaf Street Health Store
20 Sheaf Street, Daventry NN11 4AB