We are constantly being told that we need to maintain a healthy diet as it plays a vital role in sustaining our bodies and increases mortality. The truth is…IT DOES!! It should come as no surprise then that researchers have found that the nutrients found in certain foods can help you to overcome depression or even to stave off symptoms when they first appear. However, just as some foods will help you to overcome depression there are those foods, which people who are prone to depression or that are experiencing depression, should limit or all together eliminate from your diet. The fact is that now we are being equipped with a dietary means by which to overcome depression, in a more natural way. This does not in any way mean that the traditional methods are no longer relevant however this can work in tandem with them.
Dietary Ways to Overcome Depression
So now the million dollar questions, what foods should you add to or keep in your diet to get the nutrients required to help in your fight with depression? The diet to overcome depression includes having foods rich in:
- Essential Fats
Essential Fats or Omega 3 are not produced by our bodies so we have to them through our diets. Foods that are in rich in Omega 3 are fish such as: salmon, fresh tuna (not tin tuna), mackerel, sardines, herrings, trout and pilchards. The fact is Omega 3 contains two essential components: EPA and DHA of which EPA is the most potent in its effect on combating depression.
- B vitamins
B vitamin and B complex are critical in balancing the levels of homo-cysteine an amino acid which is toxic, which is found in the blood. Without the appropriate amounts of B vitamin complex homo-cysteine levels will increase causing an imbalance in the brain’s chemistry. Foods rich in B vitamin and B complex are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, eggs and dairy. However, these vitamins are easily destroyed when we consume alcohol, nicotine, refined foods, caffeine and why we experience stress that it may be wise to take supplements to maintain our levels. Vitamin B will boost your energy level while reducing symptoms of fatigue; as such it is best not to take supplements in the evenings or at night as you will be up and perky when you should be resting.
Serotonin is a hormone produced in the body and brain and is important in the regulation of behavior, mood, sleep and many other functions. It is made from an amino acid called tryptophan which is further broken down into 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP). Good sources of foods rich in protein such as: meats, eggs, fish and beans. It is also a rich content of the African Griffonia bean, which is not a regular part of our diets.
Chromium itself does not affect the individual with depression. However, it acts as a neurotransmitter for serotonin and tryptophan allowing them to cross the blood barrier and reach to the central nervous system. Studies have shown that chromium has exceptional benefits for people suffering from “atypical” depression as it lessens the craving for carbohydrates and sugars which is normally characteristic of this type of depression. Foods rich in chromium are corn, broccoli, organic eggs, apples, tomato and sweet potato.
- Vitamin D
The intake of Vitamins has been reported as a good way to help you overcome depression. However, even though results from studies in women have shown that this may be the replacement to anti-depressants they are not conclusive. In any event, having foods with vitamin D are still are good way to help with the struggle of depression. Foods rich in Vitamin D are: cod liver oil, caviar, mushrooms, fish and oysters. Sunlight is also a great way to get some Vitamin D, but always wear a sunscreen before going out.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose which is what the brain uses for energy. There has been a direct correlation between blood sugar levels and mood. This is so as too high levels will affect the amount of chromium in the body and can lead to dizziness, fatigue, lack of concentration and so forth. As such, the amount of carbohydrates need to balanced one way or the other.
To Overcome Depression Naturally
Remember the foods mentioned here are components of a diet that should help you overcome depression and is not an alternative to rational methodologies. Before starting any strict regiment always consult your physicians who will do the relevant blood tests and let you know which nutrients are lacking in your body and how to proceed from there.