A depression diet can effectively treat and eliminated many of the symptoms of depression. Even mainstream medical communities are realizing the connection between food and mood, and are encouraging patients to alter their diets accordingly. The quality of one’s life can drastically improve as depression is lifted and one’s general health can also improve by adhering to a depression diet. With education, discipline and commitment, depression can be treated naturally and a person can lead a normal, healthy, active life once again.
While most people experience blue moods once in a while, people who are diagnosed with depression experience long bouts of its symptoms without any apparent environmental or circumstantial cause, and without relief.
The causes of depression vary according to the individual, but some of the main causes are hormonal imbalances, a chemical imbalance in the brain, genetic factors, seasonal changes, chronic pain, chronic illness and hardships in life.
Many people who experience depression may go about their daily lives with few people realizing that something is seriously wrong with them. Since most people do experience glum or quiet moods from time to time, the symptoms of clinical depression are not always immediately recognizable. Over time, however, it usually becomes apparent to those closest to the depressed person that their feelings of sadness are lingering longer than is deemed normal or that their symptoms are even worsening as their condition progresses.
A few of these symptoms include:
- Intense sadness
- Stress and anxiety
- Loss of interest in hobbies, recreational or social activities
- Changes in appetite (either a marked decrease or increase)
- Noticeable weight gain
- Noticeable weight loss
- Digestive problems
- A change in sleep habits
- A pessimistic attitude
- Complaints of physical pain (headaches, chest pain, back pain, etc.)
- Feeling a sense of worthlessness
- Talk of suicide
Traditional medical treatment of these symptoms usually involves mood-altering drugs, psychotherapy or, in the worst-case scenarios, institutional treatment or shock therapy. Among the most commonly prescribed treatments for depression are anti-depressant drugs, which present an opportunity for addiction as well as a host of other, very serious side effects.
However, natural remedies for depression take into consideration that unhealthy dietary choices and nutritional deficiencies can also be contributing factors to a depressed state. In seeking to eliminate symptoms of depression, natural therapies seek to realize connections between food and depression first.
Realizing that every body is different, it is not possible to prescribe a single diet that will treat depression. Instead, learning how food and depression interact in an individual, gives insight into tailoring a depression diet that is both safe and effective in battling this disease.
With that said, there are certain dietary choices that should be a staple in everyone’s life, particularly people suffering from depression. Some of the best recommendations for a depression diet are:
- Avoiding junk foods, which interfere with dopamine receptors, reduce pleasurable feelings after eating and increase the risk of obesity. Junk foods also contain chemicals, preservatives, unhealthy fats and offer little to no nutritional value. While junk foods may alleviate hunger, they also cause nutritional deficiencies over time.
- Avoid alcohol, which can exacerbate depression and contribute to addiction.
- Avoid sugar and caffeine, which can both give momentary relief, but can also contribute to a worsening of symptoms when the initial effect subsides.
- Increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as is found in salmon, tuna, red cabbage and flaxseed and flaxseed oil.
- Increase consumption of anti-oxidant rich foods, such as blueberries, strawberries, acai berry, sprouts, ginger, grapes, pomegranate, green tea, legumes and beans
Serotonin is often described as the hormone that makes a person feel good. It also promotes healthy sleep patterns, which are often lost in a person who is experiencing a serious depressed state. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is necessary to the production of serotonin. Therefore, foods that are high in Tryptophan can naturally increase serotonin levels in the brain. A few of these foods are:
- Soy products (especially tofu and soy sauce)
- Turnip greens
Herbal remedies for depression include:
- St. John’s Wort
A diet rich in vitamins B, B12, C, D and Folic acid is also beneficial in managing depression. These vitamins can be gained by supplements or by food choices, such as increasing consumption of carrots, which are high in vitamin B, and chickpeas and mushrooms, which are also high in vitamin B, but are also healthy choices for specifically obtaining Folic Acid.
Along with a depression diet, it is important that a person receives at least 20 minutes per day of sunshine, which is also a rich source of vitamins C and D. Spending time outdoors, however, also increases fresh oxygen intake, which can stimulate the senses and support better lung circulation. Taking a brisk walk is further advised to assist in this effort.
In fact, exercise greatly assists a depression diet in that it increases circulation of the blood to the brain, and helps circulate and distribute nutrients from a healthy diet throughout the body. Fresh air combined with healthy exercise helps increase the effectiveness of neurotransmitters, as well as supports and encourages a more positive mental outlook. Routine daily exercise is an integral part of making sure a depression diet is effective.
Although depression may feel like a hopeless state for those who are caught in its grasp, it doesn’t have to be. With natural cures and home remedies, such as a depression diet, the symptoms of depression can managed. While the desired relief may not happen overnight or even as fast as a pharmaceutical drug, if properly committed to and if allowed time to work, the side effects of drugs and clinical treatment methods can be avoided.
If a person has become suicidal or it is feared that this person may hurt others while in a state of depression, it is important that medical attention is sought immediately in order to prevent harm. However, if symptoms have not reached a dangerous level, it is quite possible that a depression diet can greatly assist in rebalancing a person’s moods.
Depression is a common illness that affects the mind and the body. The signs of depression vary as well as the treatments. Learn more about your treatment options, the symptoms associated with depression as well as some holistic steps you can take to help yourself. Signs of Depression: Defeating Depression with Holistic Health
Are you looking for options when it comes to treating your anxiety? Whether you are planning on taking an anti-anxiety medication or more natural ways of treating anxiety and depression, it’s important to evaluate all of your options before deciding on the best treatment plan. Anti-anxiety Medication vs. Natural Therapy
This is a fascinating article on the food that our brain needs to function properly and what happens to our brain when depleted of the necessary nutrients to function. Is Your Brain Fat Enough?
Depression and mental disorders can be prevented and treated with simple healing foods. A new study published in the February 15, 2005 issue of Biological Psychiatry shows that certain foods are better at treating depression than antidepressant drugs. Hard to believe isnít it? Mike Adams, the author of this article is a self-proclaimed Health Ranger. He is radical is his beliefs and at time ruffles the feathers of the FDA and our political leaders. But the bottom line is whether we agree with his politics or not his health information is sound and has great value. I highly recommend reading Depression and Mental disorders can be prevented and treated with simple healing foods