Diet in depression
What is Depression?
It is more than just tearfulness or feeling of sadness.
Causes of depression :
(depression, mood swings & fatigue often have one common cause i.e. poor nutrition)
-Mostly are due to physical health issues.
-Loss of a relationship or job.
-Long term unemployment.
-Death of a loved one .
Some commonly prescribed drugs such as antibiotics, pain killers, ulcer drugs, birth control pills, high blood pressure drugs contribute to depression. If you are taking any of these do not quit them abruptly without talking to you doctor. But be aware that they might be contributing to your condition by depleting your body of depression fighting vitamins and minerals.
Withdrawing from social contact with friends or family.
Difficulty in sleeping.
Feeling sick, tired all the time.
Experiencing negative thoughts.
Depression has been linked with brain inflammation
Diet ( A healthy diet is essential for staying well)
An apple a day could keep the psychiatrist away.
Eat protein rich foods to boost alertness. They help to increase production of the brain chemical stonin which is thought to play a big role in mood regulation.
Eat vitamin B rich whole foods like nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, milk, curd, soyamilk . Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods like meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.
The most nutrient –dense item available to us for eating is leafy green vegetables. Because they contain oodles of vitamin A , C and K, minerals etc.
Walnuts are one of the richest plant based source of omega 3 fatty acids and support brain functions and reduce depression symptoms.
All types of berries like raspberry, strawberry, blue berry contain some of the highly rich antioxidant foods available to us.
Eating onions and garlic frequently is associated with a reduced risk of cancers of the digestive tract. It is understandable that why a food that can prevent cancers of the gut would also benefit your mind.
Tomatoes contain lot of folic acid and alpha –lipoic acid , both of which are good for fighting depression.
Beans are good because the body digests them slowly . So any food that assists us in evening out my blood sugar level is my friend. Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds are good for your mood.
Brown rice – it contains vitamin B1, B3 & folic acid. It is also a low glycemic food which means it releases glucose into the blood stream gradually, preventing sugar low and mood swings.
Cabbage contains vitamin C and folic acid. It protects us against stress, infection, ulcers etc.
Dark chocolate is known to lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calm. You can safely allow your self dark chocolate as a snack once in a week.
Garlic is jam packed with powerful antioxidants. So add it liberally to all the meals.
Oat meal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel good chemical.
Walnuts reversed some signs of brain ageing.
Low level of zinc have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way to store zinc, its important to get some amount of it every day.
Food to be avoided to fight depression:–
Avoid caffeine, sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol.
Eat sweet foods only as a very occasional treat.
Investigate food intolerances. You may suspect some foods which may or may not be one of the usual suspects. These are gluten (wheat, rye, barley) dairy (all types cow, sheep, goat milk, cheese, cream etc) soya eggs etc. If this is the case you could try an exclusion of the food or foods for a brief trial period.
Some lifestyle changes :
Get plenty of sunshine - natural sunlight is a proven cure for depression.
Healthy weight (carrying extra weight can make you feel bad about yourself)
Regular exercise ( Exercise releases endorphins hormones that can make you feel positive and well balanced).
Dr Suman Setia(BAMS DNHE PGDHHM)
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