Depression or clinical depression as it is commonly called, is a condition affecting one’s mind and body. It’s not just having a temporary feeling of being down and sad. It can be serious enough to impact all aspects of your daily life. It affects the way you think about yourself, your relationship, the way you work, eat and sleep.
Depression affects an estimated 19 million American every year. It has become so prevalent that it has been referred to as the “common cold” of mental illness. People afflicted with clinical depression cannot by themselves get better. They need to seek professional help to get appropriate treatment. Causes of depression could either be psychological or biochemical issues. But the problem is that many do not recognize the symptoms of depression. Symptoms like feelings of sadness and emptiness, worthlessness, pessimism, restlessness and irritability. Experiencing difficulty in remembering and decision making, a sudden loss of interest or pleasure in things you once enjoyed, and worst… thoughts of suicide.
Correcting your biochemical imbalances can go a long way in treating depression. Diet can have a dramatic impact on your wellbeing and when done properly may improve or avoid depression. The food you eat has the capacity to nurture you, give you energy and make you feel good, but they can also deplete you and leave you worn out and feeling depressed. Having the wrong diet changes your body’s chemistry and toxic wastes resulting from unnatural foods never leaves your body resulting in issues that causes depression. If it helps you to know, the food that you eat has a great impact on the emotional seat of your brain called the limbic system.
Let’s look at some foods that we need to avoid and what you can do to keep depression from setting in.
Keep off foods high in trans-fats and saturated fats (junk foods are loaded with these) that can increase your risk of being depressed. Refined sugar can elevate your blood sugar levels in the minutes and hours following its consumption disrupting your mood. Aspartame, a notorious artificial sweetener is known to block the production of serotonin. Processed foods you buy at the supermarket are often high in sodium, too much of this will lead to fluid retention and bloating. Fluoride from tap water, a very controversial chemical whose long term consumption has been proven extremely harmful. It has the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain. Alcohol, is another depressant that slows down your nervous system and worsen symptoms of depression. And as much as I hate mentioning (as I love drinking coffee and tea)… caffeine. Also a depression culprit that disrupts sleep, causes tremors and nervousness.
So, what’s the best thing to do? Eat foods with beneficial fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) like fish and vegetable oils. Increase your consumption of omega-3 fats, they are the most effective natural anti-depressant. Boost your serotonin by consuming tryptophan rich protein foods like eggs, fish, meat and beans. Even up your blood sugar level by avoiding too much carb and sweets. Remember, our brain runs on glucose. Finally, going out in the sun for your free vitamin D and doing regular exercise can definitely reduce your blues.
Eat right. Eat organic. Stay fit.
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