Depression and diet are related, and it is possible to ease the symptoms of depression, and even help cure, by choosing the right good mood food. Choosing the right foods is not just common sense for your depression condition, but is usually a good choice for your general health and well being also. Its a well known fact that if you consume the right foods to fuel your body then you have a very much greater chance of your body being healthy. There is an old saying "You are what you eat". Eat fatty foods all day and guess what, you'll be fat. I don't want to have to argue this point, and recognising this fact is at the heart of this article.
Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects peoples mood. We know that food contains vitamins and minerals, proteins, carbohtydates, sugars, salts, oils, starches, fats and other chemical makeups. This chemical makeup is different for each type of food. Some foods inherently have more sugars and fats than others. Man made or processed foods usually have additives for flavour that are not usually aportioned to with healthy dietry intake guidelines.
Sufferers of depression can gain great benefit by simply eating the right foods, or as i like to call it good mood food. As a general guide fresh unprocessed foods are the best when balanced and consumed in moderation. This would equate to any normal dietry advise available from a nutritionalist. The balanced part of the diet means that you are not just eating the same food all the time, and are not having the same meals each day. A balanced diet means mixing it up and covering all the foods groups in the right proportion across a longer period of time, say a week or a fortnight. A well prepared diet can then repeat the diet week after week. Make sure there is enough variety in your diet, you don't want to see the food you eat as a challenge.
A well prepared diet of foods for depression sufferers would aim to create a balanced meal as described above with the inclusion of specific foods that were aimed to reduce the chemical imbalance inherent with a person with depression. Your doctor should be able to provide you with an idea about your specific case of depression and which chemicals you need more or less of. The list of chemicals below is generic although very common needed within the diet of those affected by depression.
Good mood food for depression inlude foods with the following;
Folic acid can be taken as a supplement. Other sources of Folic Acid include dark green vegetables such as spinach and peas.
b) Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 can also be taken as a supplement. Omega-3 fatty acid is perhaps best found naturalli in oily fish such as mackeral, salmon and tuna.
Selenium is only recently been discovered as a good source of food to fight the effects of depression. Selenium can be found in Brazil nuts, and lobster. These are not your everyday foods and supplements may be useful.
d) Vitamins B and all its derivities B1, B2, B3 etc.
Vitamin B can also be found in dietry supplements of in natural foods. Vitamin B is very important for depression sufferes. It helps your body create protein and energy. Many studies reveal links to releaving stress and assisting sleep by using Vitamin B. Vitamin B can also be found in dietry supplements of in natural foods.
e) Vitamin C
So many good reasons to take Vitamin C, try oranges and suprisingly (at least to some) cabbage.
f) Vitamin E
Grains and nuts are a goods source of Vitamin E. Vitam E supplements are also available.
The second major aspect in the relationship of depression and diet to keep in mind is the energy contained within foods and how that energy is released and used by the body. If the food you consume releases energy quickly (like many sugar filled processed foods) you will run out of energy before your next meal. Unfotunately for people suffering from depression you emotions are affected by the energy levels within the body. Whats worse is that people with depression have mood swings that are usually greater than people without depression. All this means that foods that release their energy into the body quickly are no good for people who need to keep their mood and emotions at a constant level.
The last point to make in this article regarding depression and diet is about the energy levels contained with food, and the selection of good mood food should allow for a consistent release of energy into the body. The best food for depression are those with low glycemic index levels. The glycemic index is a measure of how carbohydrates in different foods effect the blood glucose levels within our body, ie, how much energy do we get and how quickly. The lower ther glycemic index the slower and more even the release of energy. Slow and even is good for depression sufferers. Usuaslly natural foods and particularly grains and vegetables are the lowest on the glycemic index.
The link here is obvious for those with depression, regulate the energy levels in your body by selecting the correct foods and you body will be fuelled with an even amount of energy throughout the day. This will work to reduce the likelihood of mood changes by keeping the body an a even plateau. As a depression sufferer the last thing you want to do is create multiple mood swings throughout the day.
It will take some time but in a sense by eating the right foods your body will adapt as you slowly train it to keep you energy levels even and therefore your mood will stabilise allowing you to regain control of your depression by controlling your emotions and feelings. Remember to balance your depression and diet by selecting the good mood food and you will be well on your way to beating depression.