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Fight Depression through Diet

September 07, 2013  by: Sapna Chaurasia  Points: 12   Category: Health  Earning $0.70   Views: 562

Feeling blue? try taking help of your diet to stay happy and calm the mind and keep distance from the damaging consequences of depression.

         

Depression is a psychological disorder that is growing at a fast pace. People who are sad or depressed find it difficult to work properly on a daily basis, lack driving force, are not confident and are under the clouds of worthlessness and guilt.

Depression requires a long term and proper medication and cannot be treated alone through diet. It is true that the food we eat have a direct impact on how we feel mentally and physically and therefore a proper diet can be made an essential part of the depression management. The right kind of food can be a right step in a positive direction to curb this mental state.

Food that is enriched with essential components is vital not only for the body but also for the mental well being. Deficiency of certain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids and proteins can interfere with the proper functioning of the brain. Brain need food as a fuel to function properly and to maintain its health to keep our mind at happy state.

A diet high in vital nutrients like vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and proteins are required for the body's growth, repair and wellness and for our brain to work at full capacity to keep mental states like sadness, anxiety and depression away and improve our mood.

Diet full of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are a vital component of our diet and protect our body from the harmful effects of the free radicals. These free radicals are produced in our body during its normal functions and contribute to aging and dysfunction. Along with our body brain is also at risk of the damaging effects of free radicals. Since there is no way to remove the free radicals from the body completely their destructive power can be minimized to an extent with the help of diet containing antioxidants. The antioxidants supplied through food tie up with the free radicals and protect the brain from their harmful impact. Antioxidants that potentially fight free radicals are vitamin C, E and beta carotene.

Food rich in antioxidants

Avocados - beta carotene, vitamin E
Citrus fruits - like oranges contains vitamin C
Berries - contains anthocyanin, sharpens cognition and have positive health outcomes.
Oatmeal - contains antioxidant properties along with serotonin, a feel good chemical that help in overcoming stress.
Dark Chocolates - contains important antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonols. Polyphenols help prevent memory loss, improve neural connections and overall health of the brain.
Green Leafy Vegetables - rich in Vitamin C

Eat Fish for Omega 3 Fatty Acids

It has been proven that people with a diet deficient in essential fatty acids have depressive disorders. Most important sources of omega 3 fatty acids are fatty fishes and thus should be consumed on a regular basis.

Food rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Fatty Fishes - like salmon, tuna and mackerel. Also contains DHA for healthy functioning of the brain.
Walnuts - rich in essential fatty acids like alpha linolenic acid and magnesium that help production of serotonin thus boosting the mood.

Get strength from Protein Rich Food

Protein is an essential building block of our body and brain and boost its alertness. Proteins are actually made up of essential amino acids that are building blocks of our brain chemicals. Since these amino acids are not manufactured in our bodies these should be provided through our diet. An important amino acid tryptophan is converted into serotonin a feel good chemical and a neurotransmitter, low levels of serotonin are associated with difficulty in dealing with stress.

Another important amino acid is a tyrosine that boost level of brain chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals increase alertness and help in concentration.

Food rich in Protein

Tuna, chicken, turkey, lean beef
Low fat cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, poultry
Soy products
Beans and peas

Eat healthy dose of Selenium rich food

Researches have shown that there is an association between selenium intake and poorer mood. Lower selenium in diet is responsible for the incidence of depression and other negative mental states like anxiety, confusion and hostility. The recommended amount of selenium in the diet should be 55 micrograms for adults, more than this can be toxic and thus harmful for the body.

Food Rich in Selenium

Beans and Legumes
Nuts and seeds
Low fat dairy products
Seafood and lean meat
Whole grains

Ensure the intake of Vitamin B

Vitamin B rich diet not only provide energy to the brain to function at optimum level but can also be referred to as anti stress nutrients that help to relieve stress and anxiety.
The vitamin B folate is an essential component of a diet that has a powerful role in combating depression. Vitamin B6 and B12 improve neural function hence these nutrients help to lessen the severity of depression symptoms. Niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), and folic acid (B9) associate with tryptophan to produce a feel good neurochemical serotonin that is necessary to keep the mood in good state.

Food Rich in Vitamin B

Legumes and Wholegrains
Green leafy Vegetables like Cabbage
Eggs, chicken, red meat
Nuts and Seeds
Milk

Fuel for brain through Complex Carbohydrates

Our mood directly depends on the way carbohydrates are converted into sugar in our body. Carbohydrates are converted into sugar which act as a fuel for the brain to function. Hence it is necessary that our brain gets a steady and gradual supply of energy, any fluctuation in sugar level in the blood can cause fluctuation in mood.

A diet that is high in sugar, white and processed carbohydrates cause sudden fluctuation in the amount of glucose in the blood flow, this uneven supply of energy result in irritability, fluctuating mood and anxiety. Opt for healthy complex carbohydrates high in fiber which are slow to digest and release energy slowly and gradually for a calming effect on the brain.

Food rich in Complex Carbohydrates

Wholegrain, oats, brans, cereals, beans, pulses and lentils.

Follow Mediterranean type Diet

It has been found that people living in the Mediterranean region have lower incidence of depressive disorders. The credit is given to their balanced diet and healthy eating patterns. The Mediterranean diet is composed of healthy food options like fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals, legumes and fishes. This kind of diet provides all the required nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids from fishes, antioxidants from olive oil and nuts, flavonoids, phytochemicals, natural foliates and vitamin B from plants and fruits. This type of diet is healthy for overall physical and mental wellbeing and hence help in relieving the symptoms of stress and depression.




Comment(s)
Author: ushakiran        
Posted Date: 09/19/2013    Points:2    

Very informative and useful article ! There is no greater wealth than health and we should try to keep our body and health in good shape right from childhood.It is an understood fact that Mental health and physical health are inter related ..
Author: Writer013        
Posted Date: 09/21/2013    Points:10    

It is true that we must fight depression by consuming food that keeps us healthy and keeping a watch on our diet.
It is important to note that food can have a calming effect on us.
In fact, all foods are calming foods and when you eat, you feel better.
Events that cause stress in your life and this not just the daily hassles of life can cause our cortisol levels to rise.
Cortisol is something that causes food cravings, and they are strongest for carbohydrates, and especially sweet food.
The more of them we eat, the worse our mood gets and the cortisol then makes more trouble for us, triggering an enzyme in our fat cells.
Since our visceral fat cells (the ones in our abdomen, have more of these enzymes than the subcutaneous fat cells, stress causes us to accumulate more belly fat.
The more stress, the more this abdominal, or central, obesity occurs and it has been found that these belly fat cells, which have been linked to a greater risk for heart disease and diabetes, have four times as many cortisol receptors as regular fat cells.
So calming foods are not the same thing as comfort foods.
It should be meals and snacks that will truly soothe and calm you, whether it is because of the specific nutrients they provide or the steady, reliable source of energy they give you, they will get you through the day feeling focused, even, and balanced, so you will have the ability to live a healthy life.

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