Depression and diet

Depression and Diet

Do you know that the foods you eat have a direct effect on your emotions? Surprising as it may sound, not many people are aware that the foods they eat could either give them a high or make them feel lethargic and depressed. If you are trying to figure out how, read on.

Each time you eat you send out certain signals to the brain stimulating it to secrete certain types of hormones that are popularly called “feel good hormones” or “mood enhancers”. These hormones like serotonin, endorphin, and nor-epinephrine are responsible for producing a calm and soothing effect, making you feel cheerful, content, satisfied, and happy. So the next time you are suffering from a bout of depression or are feeling low, simply try including the following list of foods in your daily diet.

Foods to eat

1. Whole Grains

Brown bread, oats, and whole wheat flour are rich in a host of nutrients, particularly vitamins and minerals. Of these, B vitamins are found in abundance in whole grains. Depression is directly linked to low levels of vitamin B in the body. Folic acid or vitamin B9 helps to stabilize the level of homocysteine in the body. High level of homocysteine are directly linked to higher levels of depression. Therefore, include whole grain foods in your diet on a regular basis to get a perfect combination of several B vitamin, which in turn will help you stay positive and happy.

2. Protein Punch

Never underestimate the power of proteins. The benefits of these wonder nutrients are infinite. Apart from aiding the normal process of growth and development, proteins are responsible for catalyzing numerous reactions in the body. Tryptophan, an amino acid (building blocks of proteins) is responsible for triggering the formation of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin works as a natural anti depressant drug, making you feel instantly happy and cheerful. Milk and milk products, animal products like meat, chicken, egg and various pulses are excellent sources of proteins that can be easily included in your daily diet.

3. Fishy Affair

Fishes are one of the richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids need to be supplied to the body on a daily basis because our body cannot prepare them. Numerous researches have showed a direct correlation between reduced levels of omega 3 fatty acids and increased incidences of depression. Include fishes, walnuts, and flax seeds in your diet regularly to experience life long benefits.

4. Vitamin D

This is one of the most over looked vitamin, but one of the most easily available one too. Simply step out of your house and bask under sunlight! That’s right. Your skin can synthesize vitamin D with the help of sunlight. A large number of studies have found a direct correlation between reduced vitamin D levels and increased cases of depression. If you feel constantly irritated, lonely or feel depressed, simply step out and let your life shine under the sun.

Foods to Avoid

It is important to understand that certain food items can make you feel moody and depressed if consumed in excess. These food items are –

1. Coffee

Caffeine acts by making you feel super active initially but the effect wears down just as quickly as it begins, making you feel depressed all over again. It is advisable to cut down your intake of coffee and other caffeinated beverages to see an improvement in your condition.

2. Refined Foods

These include “processed foods” made from white flour, white bread, etc. Refined foods are devoid of major nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are rich in sugars and saturated fats and are therefore not an ideal option for anyone who is looking to stay health and happy.

3. Sugar

If you a are sweet tooth, this is the ideal time to put a stop to your sweet binges. Sugars have a negative effect on the body when taken in excess and are responsible for causing obesity and diabetes. Apart from this, they are also responsible fore triggering depression when consumed in excess.

4. Junk Foods

These are rich not only in saturated fats but also in sodium which is known to trigger depression when present in excess in body.

Eating the right type of foods is one of the most effective ways to treat depression as opposed to expensive medications and drugs that come with numerous side effects and are unnecessary when you can fight depression in a natural manner.

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