How Can Diet Ease Depression?

Depression can be offset or even eliminated when your diet consists of nutritional and healthy foods. Indeed, certain foods are not just good for you physically. They also enhance your mental and emotional states as well.

There are many causes of depression and of course, if you feel that depression is a problem you should consult a licensed medical professional to get proper medical advice.

One of them, if not the most important considerations when planning a healthy lifestyle is diet.

If you think about it, food is fuel for your body, and its livelihood, substance and wellbeing greatly depends on what you eat.

Your physical state is highly affected by diet, so it makes sense that our brains and emotional state will be as well.

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Your Diet Affects the Development of Depression

Having depression can be quite depressing. Pardon the lack of an appropriate expression, but the main thing is that we all know that depression can be pretty devastating.

It is a hindrance to your social advancement as well as to your personal happiness.

There are some cases that people find a relief for depression by eating food or diet supplements that boost up the level of tryptophan.  Tryptophan is a kind of amino acid that is responsible in producing serotonin.

There is also a study that proves that carbohydrates is an anti-depression supplements. It lessens the premenstrual syndrome for about three hours.

By simply eating a high density of carbohydrates can diminished the effect of depression in the body.

Carbohydrates repair the imbalance in the ration of the specific fatty acid. Imbalances of fatty acids can affect the risk of depression.

There is also a study that shows an association between moderate consumption of caffeine drinks which lower the symptoms of depression. Indeed, any excess can heighten the risk.

Proper diet also helps to lower the tendency of committing suicide, in which depression is one of the primary causes.

In this study, the doctors have formulated that by drinking coffee or tea, you can reduce the effect of depression.

There are also certain habits that contain harmful substances that may trigger the symptoms of depression, like drinking alcoholic beverages, too much cigarette smoking, and drug overdose.

Vitamins and other food nutrients such as Vitamin B, Iodine, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Amino complex have been associated with some protection against depression.

Niacin is also a very important in the production of tryptophan that helps promotes Vitamin B3 and it has been found out that it regulates blood flow in order to avoid mental depression.

Vitamin B12 and Calcium ingredients may help in depression that take place during the monthly menstrual period.

In the year 2001, there was a study that proves that this vitamin can prevent postpartum depression.

Those kinds of food supplements and vitamins may enhance the effectiveness of SSRI and other antidepressant.

In order to avoid depression you must choose your food wisely and have a proper diet.

 

The More Colorful The Plate – The Better the Mood

Remember – “The More Colorful the Plate, the Lower the Weight.” That statement and nutritional adage refers to getting rid of the burden of depression too.

While an unhealthy diet consisting of processed foods or sugar puts on weight, it apparently extends to how one feels or their emotional health.

You Are What You Eat

Evidently, you are what you eat and the more healthy the diet, the lower the incidences of mood swings or depressive episodes.

Studies and research indicates that diets that are not packed with certain vitamins or minerals not only accelerate the aging process but also cause shortages in mood-enhancing chemicals, such as serotonin.

The Key to Alleviating Stress and Elevating One’s Mood

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter as well as a mood stabilizer. Therefore, it plays an important role in alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression.

The following foods can increase the amount of serotonin that is produced in the bloodstream and enhance one’s overall outlook and mood.

  • Fruits. One of the less-known types of serotonin-producing foods, fruits such as pineapple, sour cherries, plums and bananas are all good foods to eat to improve one’s mood. In addition, cherries contain melatonin, which is a natural sleep aid.
  • Protein. Eating turkey, which contains tryptophan, increases the manufacture of serotonin in the brain. In turn, the food promotes feelings that are more positive. Other proteins that aid in serotonin production include seafood, eggs, whey protein, and beef. Try to select animal products that have not been raised with hormones, and choose grass fed or pasture raised products.

Another serotonin-boosting protein food is nuts. Nuts boost the manufacture of selenium, which is found to be lacking in patients suffering from depression. Lean meats and legumes contain selenium too.

Because sugar-rich snacks can inhibit the production of serotonin, it is better to replace sugary or processed snacks with more natural foods, and whole foods, such as nuts or fruits and lean protein.

Feeling Depressed? Eat more Protein

On January 5th 2006 researchers announced their studies, they learned that protein p11 plays a key role in depression.

Protein p11 appears to regulate signaling of the brain chemical Serotonin.

In so many studies done before Serotonin has been linked with depression and also anxiety disorders.

The funny thing is Serotonin is what nearly every anti-depressant is made to regulate, including Prozac.

What’s the difference between protein p11 and Prozac you ask?

Prozac uses compounds called SSRIs, which increase levels of Serotonin in your body.

These compounds interact with 14 different serotonin receptors. Prozac stimulates some of the receptors that cause negative side effects; p11 does not interact with these receptors.

So is this the end all cure all?

Maybe, some people react differently, if you do not experience any positive effects from anti-depressants then you can try Paxil.

This aims at the future of antidepressants targeting the 5-HT receptors, which cause very few side effects.

!Entreprenuer Alert!

Since p11 is a natural (organic) chemical it cannot be patented! Using p11 in future antidepressants will soon be huge.

The funds to get such a business started are unknown, but you could do some research and some deep pocket investing to be the first to jump on this market.

  • Carbohydrates. Most carbs in the diet will boost the level of serotonin and reduce the incidence of depression. Add pasta, whole grain bread, and white potatoes to the menu.
  • Dairy products make people feel happier too. Try such dairy foods as cheese and milk, each of which contain mood-boosting chemicals or produce an increase in serotonin. 

Nutrients That Ward Off Depression

Beta Carotene

Beta-carotene is also helpful in relieving depression. Some of the foods in this group include cantaloupe, carrots, broccoli, and apricots.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C-rich foods are helpful in fighting depression too. These foods are made up of citrus fruits, such as limes, oranges, and grapefruit.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E not only plays a role in immune system functioning but contributes to nerve health as well – ameliorating any episodes of depression. Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and wheat germ are all foods that contain vitamin E.

Change the Way You Eat and Increase Your Level of Activity

When it comes to alleviating depression in the diet, a healthy mix of complex carbohydrates combined with fruits and vegetables can help alleviate mood swings and depression in general.

Make sure that any processed snacks, such as chips or packaged cookies, are removed from your shelves and concentrate on eating fresh produce and fish.

Once you start eating healthier, you will exercise more, which can further elevate mood and stave off depression.

In fact, when you take part in an exercise activity, such as walking, jogging, or running, your body produces more of the mood-enhancing hormones called endorphins. Therefore, after a while, your mood will improve just by eating healthier and exercising more.

Research shows that people who follow this kind of approach do not need to take mood-enhancing drugs or anti-depressants if they make healthy eating and regular exercise a routine practice. 

5 Mood-Boosting Foods

When searching for information on how to keep depression at bay, you will come across many suggestions.

These may range from getting enough sleep, meditation, and exercising, to striking a healthy balance in your professional, social and personal life.

Everyone is different, and it’s important to get the opinion of a medical professional if you are struggling from depression. But one thing you can also try is to tweak what you eat.

Studies have found that certain foods elicit a calming effect based on how their nutrient content interacts with the body. When eaten, such foods can help boost your mood. Here are five examples for you to try:

1. Walnuts

Rich in healthy fats and protein, walnuts are a healthy snack option over salt-laden crackers and potato chips. While most nuts and seeds are good at fighting depression, walnuts have an edge due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids.

Researchers have found that there is a correlation between this nutrient and healthy brain function. Some studies report high occurrences of depressive disorders in communities that do not get enough of omega-3 fatty acids from available local foods.

Therefore, if walnuts are within reach, ensure you get your fill and acquire enough omega-3 to help you fight off depression precursors such as anxiety and stress.

2. Chocolate

One widespread notion about chocolate is that it is a comfort food, which makes people happy. It turns out that this assertion bears some truth. The explanation behind how chocolate makes people happy is in its chemical nature.

Nutrition researchers discovered that chocolate affects the brain by releasing neurotransmitters that have a positive effect on human emotions. One of these is serotonin, which is known to uplift mood.

Chocolate also triggers the release of endorphins in the brain, which relieve pain and induce feelings of euphoria. This snack has even been found to stimulate production of phenylethylamine, a neurotransmitter that affects blood pressure and glucose levels to arouse emotions similar to those that a person experiences during romantic affairs.

Another compound in chocolate that leads to feelings of well-being is lipid anandamide, which has similar effects to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical compound in Marijuana that causes a high.

3. Turkey

It is the level of tryptophan contained in turkey that makes it such a good food for boosting the mood. Tryptophan is a type of amino acid present in various protein-rich foods.

It plays a vital role in the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter your body produces. Eating turkey and other foods rich in tryptophan more often can ensure your body is producing enough serotonin, which will ultimately help you maintain high spirits and prevent depression.

4. Green Tea

Having a bad day? Green tea is an excellent beverage to help you cope with stress and prevent depression. The magic ingredient that gives green tea its anti-stress and relaxation benefits is Theanine. This amino acid is even used to treat anxiety and hypertension.

6. Low Fat Dairy

Nutrition experts know that low fat dairy products lower cholesterol intake, which in turn reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders.

However, the depression fighting capabilities of low fat dairy products can be traced back to their high content of vitamin D.

Some studies have linked lack of vitamin D with depression, and low fat dairy products can ensure that you are getting enough of this essential mood-boosting nutrient.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that various foods have a calming effect on the body. Those mentioned above are just a handful of comfort foods you can try to experiment with and see how they affect your mood. However, if you want to beat depression, it is important to look at your diet as a whole, and to seek medical guidance.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Your physical state is highly affected by diet.

Your Diet affects the Development of Depression

  • Carbohydrates repair the imbalance in the ration of the specific fatty acid.
  • Vitamins and other food nutrients such as Vitamin B, Iodine, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Amino complex have been associated with some protection against depression.
  • Niacin promotes Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B12 and Calcium

The More Colorful The Plate – The Better the Mood
You Are What You Eat

The Key to Alleviating Stress and Elevating One’s Mood

  • Fruits
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Dairy

Nutrients That Ward Off Depression

  • Beta Carotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Change the Way You Eat and Increase Your Level of Activity

5 Mood-Boosting Foods

  • Walnuts
  • Chocolate
  • Turkey
  • Green Tea
  • Low-Fat Dairy

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Have you been depressed?

– What are the foods you like to eat when you are depressed?

– What are the foods that could improve your mood?

– Are you aware of other foods to eat to ease depression?

– Do you know other natural treatments for depression?


 

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