Eating Your Way To A Better Mood
Depression affects millions of Americans of all ages. Unfortunately, no single treatment program applies to everyone. Fortunately, certain foods can help alleviate many of the symptoms of depression. Diet can’t change everything, but a healthy range of foods can instantly put a smile on a patient’s face and affect the course of other treatments.
Fighting free radicals with antioxidants
Free radicals are naturally produced molecules that can speed up cell damage and aging. The brain is particularly susceptible to free radical damage. Certain foods rich in antioxidants are thought to reduce the damaging effects of free radicals. Broccoli, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, and apricots are a high source of beta-carotene. Blueberries, oranges, potatoes, and tomatoes have a high supply of vitamin C. Nuts and seeds have a lot of vitamin E.
Eating a Mediterranean diet for better health
Studies have shown a direct link between reduced vitamin B12 levels and increases in depression. A Mediterranean diet is known to provide people with a healthy dose of B vitamins. Foods like legumes, fruits, dark green vegetables, and nuts are all great sources of B vitamins. Also, low-fat animal and dairy products, as well as fish, have high B12 levels.
Sunlight and vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential part of developing strong and healthy bones, promoting cell growth, and strengthening the immune system. Much of people’s vitamin D levels come from sun exposure. Dietary supplements and certain foods can provide additional vitamin D sources. Not many foods are rich in vitamin D. However, salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish and animal fats are prime sources of vitamin D.
Consider new weight goals and lifestyle habits
Obesity has been linked to depression, although researchers are not sure of the root cause. However, a well-rounded diet full of the foods listed above can help people maintain a healthy weight. Depression can also lead to alcohol and drug misuse. Alcohol and drugs can disrupt a person’s mood and sleep, increasing the symptoms of depression. Caffeine can trigger anxiety and lead to restless nights.
Consult with a pharmacist first
People with depression should speak with a physician or pharmacist before using any vitamins, supplements, or herbs to treat depression. Many people have experienced enormous benefits from taking supplements. However, supplements are not for everyone. Consider the rare side effects and complications before embarking on the alternative treatment journey.