Can the food we eat affect our mood? According to research, an unhealthy diet can increase the risk of developing depression. Anyone suffering from or who has been through depression understands how serious and debilitating it can be. The surge of negative feelings, problems with concentration, difficulty remembering details and making decisions is overwhelming. Sometimes these feelings can even lead to suicide attempts or suicide. Depression more frequently affects women and the elderly although there is a rise in adolescent depression.
Healthy vs Unhealthy Diet
Several experiments conducted on individuals diagnosed with clinical depression have led to various nutritional discoveries. Not only were many of the depressed individuals on an unhealthy diet, but depression was decreased by adhering to healthy dietary patterns. The healthy diet included vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and whole grains and was also associated with decreased anxiety disorders. Meanwhile, the “western” diet of processed or fried foods, refined grains, sugary products, and beer was associated with higher depression symptoms.
Can Supplements Help?
Adding certain supplements might also decrease depressive symptoms. Omega-3, when given to clinically diagnosed individuals with depression, decreased symptoms significantly. It also decreased depressive symptoms in others who were suffering from depression without a clinical diagnosis. There are several reasons to include omega-3 into your diet. It has been shown to decrease chronic pain, inflammation and has some benefit in decreasing cognitive decline in the elderly. Decreases in calcium and magnesium have also been associated with an increase in depressive symptoms.
Nutrition and Midlife Depression
A midlife crisis can be a tough transitional period for anyone. Hormonal, physical and mental changes are apparent throughout the body. For many, especially women, this can be a hard time filled with sadness and feelings of hopelessness.The presence of depressive symptoms can be associated with fast-food intake. High consumption of soda, sweets, and saturated fatty acids and low consumption of vegetables and fruits usually leads to an inadequate amount of folate, magnesium, and omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. These nutrients are beneficial against depression. Fast food is also accompanied with high levels of trans and/or saturated fatty acids and very poor level of dietary fibers. This not only has a negative effect on the mind, it is also bad for the body. Fight the feelings of helplessness healthier food choices, your mind and body will thank you for it.
Inadequate diet is the root of many evils and dealing with depression can be one of the hardest battles a person can go through. It causes significant psychological and social morbidity and is an independent risk factor for many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Fortunately. it may be possible to prevent depression as well as many other diseases in the kitchen.
Continue reading: The Best Method In Fighting Age-Related Cognitive Decline
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