Nutrition and Depression are Connected!
At first sight they don’t seem to have a relationship but nutrition and depression are intimately connected. The levels of brain chemicals that regulate our moods are controlled by what we eat!
We loooove caffeine, carbonated sodas, skipping our fruits and veggies, junk food, alcohol and (of course) loads of sugar!!!
As if this wasn’t enough, we are also exposed to toxins and pesticides in the food and pollution and contamination in the air and water...
Anti Depression Foods
Foods greatly influence the brain’s behavior. A poor diet full of junk food, sugar and caffeine can be a cause for depression.
Serotonin, for example, plays an important role in our mood, sleep patterns and appetite. Low levels of serotonin cause sleep problems, anxiety and depression.
Choose whole, fresh foods. They give our brains all the necessary material to ensure that we produce the “happy juices” for our cells. Try to avoid the “fake foods”, the ones that come in a box or in a can.
Sure, fresh organic foods cost a little more but you will make up for it in less visits to the doctor!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are A MUST:
We keep on adding more and more benefits to the already long list of omega-3 health benefits. Now, it has been discovered that they may also help to alleviate depression and anxiety.
Some studies show that people who rarely eat fish (which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids) are more likely to suffer from depression.
Good sources of omega-3: fish oil, salmon, sardines, tuna, flaxseed and nuts.
Good sources of alpha-linolenic acid (another type of omega-3): canola oil, walnuts, dark green vegetables and also flaxseed.
If you can't get all the omega-3 from your foods, I suggest you include an omega-3 supplement in your diet.
Nutrition and Depression Healthy Habits
Foods to Avoid:
• Reduce sugar and sugary foods to a minimum. Choose honey or brown sugar instead but also in small amounts. The sugar substitutes like Splenda or Nutrasweet are not that healthier either.
• Stay away from refined carbs (white bread, white rice, pasta, pastries etc.). They lack all the important vitamins for depression and nutrients like iron and fiber.
• Say good bye to caffeine and carbonated sodas for now. They give you a high that inevitably is followed by a crash in your mood. Instead, try decaffeinated green tea which also adds great antioxidants to your diet. Drinks and foods containing caffeine can trigger anxiety and make it difficult to sleep at night.
• Stay away from alcohol. It makes depression so much worse! It typically leaves you feeling worse than ever because it depresses the brain and nervous system. People who suffer from anxiety and depression SHOULD NOT drink alcohol. If you find it difficult to stop yourself from drinking you may want to address the problem as an addiction and reach out for professional help …
Healthy Habits to Follow:
• Switch to “Smart Carbs” (whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, natural granola etc…). The connection between carbohydrates and mood is linked to the brain chemical called Serotonin. When serotonin levels rise, we feel less anxiety and a calming effect.
• Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. They are great FOR EVERYTHING!!!
• Eat good sources of healthy proteins: legumes, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, all kinds of fish, soy products etc. Choose organic products if possible.
• Include moderate amounts of healthy fat (nuts, avocado, olive oil) in your diet.
• Eat foods rich in
vitamins for depression
(visit this article for important info).
Here are Some More Nutrition and Depression Healthy Tips:
• Take your time eating each meal. If you can, make it into a
Be fully present as you eat your meals. Chew well and thoroughly!
• Try to drink enough water a day. Water cleanses the body and it is essential for its optimal functioning.
Hormones, Nutrition and Depression
It is also very common for women to experience an unbalance in their hormones that manifests as extreme lethargy, continuous exhaustion and an assortment of body aches (flu-like kind of aches). A balanced diet that includes
supplements and vitamins for depression
will greatly improve the functioning of your hormones and body in general.
Please seek professional help if your condition is grave. For now please try to exclude the “bad stuff” from your diet.
Note: I am NOT a nutritionist and can not diagnose or prescribe anything to anybody but I know from my own experience that what you feed your body with, will be reflected in your health.
Give Some Love to Your Body
By studying the relationship between nutrition and depression we realize that we can greatly help our recovery by making healthy choices in our diet.
Way too often we neglect the needs of our body by abusing super processed and refined foods, large amounts of sugar, several cups of coffee a day and to top that off we add generous amounts of alcohol.
By eating healthy you will see an improvement in your mood. It may not happen right away but give it little time and you will DEFINITELY see a decrease in your depression symptoms.
As you feel better, you can reintroduce some of the things that you miss but in a moderate way so you never turn back to your old habits!
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