The Rise And Rise Of Depression
More than 17 million Americans suffer from depression, with the numbers climbing at an alarming rate. While the triggers are vast and the causes differ, there are several ways to fight depressive symptoms. Therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes can all help. Some people turn to food as a coping mechanism. However, some foods can release chemicals that contribute to depressive symptoms.
Is your food a cure or culprit?
The term comfort food has been used to remember meals from home or childhood. At the same time, food is used to comfort someone during a sad or stressful situation. Instant gratification comes from something that tastes good, often thanks to raising serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are usually lower in persons suffering from depression. While these may give a blip of relief, most of these foods contain counterproductive substances over time. These 3 foods, in particular, people suffering from depression should avoid.
1. Processed Meats
Doctors recommend leaner, more organic meats as part of a balanced diet for weight management and overall health. On the other hand, processed meats can cause many health problems, including increasing depression. While easier to prepare, the preservatives and additives in processed meat have an increased effect on signs of depression. Additionally, processed meats may also contain high saturated fats, which encourage higher volumes of inflammation. Nevertheless, inflammation has been linked to some depressive symptoms like sleep deprivation. Other studies note that inflammation was 30% more prevalent in those suffering from depression.
2. Sugars and sweeteners
Sugar is one of the most challenging ingredients to avoid in foods. Even harmless sauces, dressings, and butter contain large amounts of sugar. Excess sugar has many adverse effects on the body, aside from weight gain. For instance, sugar produces inflammation in the body, like processed meats. In addition, the widely craved sweet goodness is used in most comfort foods and can trigger chemicals in the brain that causes imbalances. The imbalances cause mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety.
3. Fast Food
Fast food seems to be the holy trinity of today’s needs. These meals are quick, cheap, and tasty. But, in truth, fast food is quickly impacting the average American’s mental health. Fast food is a cocktail of refined carbs, salt, sugar, processed meats, and even trans-fats. In excess, these all impact the brain’s chemicals that regulate mood. Over 37% of Americans consume fast food daily. Furthermore, studies show about 40% of people who regularly consume at least fast food are likely to develop depression.
Check your diet
Fighting depression often takes a holistic approach. Some patients may take medication, try therapy, and other useful remedies. However, a diet with these unhealthy foods could undo all progress. Instead, try a diet that contains fruits, veggies, whole grains, leaner forms of protein. Avoid processed foods, sugars, and trans fats. These all increase inflammation which can cause an unwanted chemical imbalance. A healthy body helps a healthy mind.