Fighting Depression with Food
Depression is becoming rampant in India. According to statistics 300 million in the world suffer from depression. About 5 crore Indians suffer from depression and 3 percent of Indians suffer from anxiety disorders. In the year 2012 about 8 lakh Indians committed suicide owing to depression.
According to Mona –“Depression is not a sign of weakness. It can happen to anyone and at any age. The person looses interest in performing the daily life activities. Affected person shows extreme behaviors like excessive crying or sleeping. ”
Causes of Depression
Depression can cause due to lack of various essential nutrients in our diet. Some essential foods which are essential to prevent depression are:
- Vitamin B family foods- Deficiency of vitamin B12 (Methylated)helps in fighting depression
- Vitamin D – Sunlight is the natural source of vitamin D which is essential in fighting depression
- Omega 3 rich foods- Fatty fish, nuts like walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds are rich sources of Omega 3 Fatty acids, essential for fighting depression
- Consuming antidepressants over a period of time leads to the loss of vitamin B12 , which inhibits in fighting against depression
- L-tryptophan rich foods- Sweet potato is a rich source of it , which is essential in fighting depression
- Probiotics- Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics which helps in fighting against depression.
Stress releases cortisol ( a hormone), which causes inflammation in the gut which ultimately enters brain and results in brain inflammation. This process results in depression.
Certain foods are moods elevators like chocolate. They release high amounts of serotonin(known as reward hormone) which causes addiction. Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine.
According to Mona-“One must not look depression as a weakness and take below mentioned necessary steps to fight depression”
- Seek professional help
- Ask your therapist for any lifestyle modifications
- Try yoga, meditation
- Exercise- It releases serotonin which fights depression
Foods to fight Depression
- Consume whole unprocessed foods
- Probiotics-which feeds good bacteria
- Nuts like walnuts increasing serotonin levels
- Sesame seeds-releases tyrosine , which fights depression
- Dark green leafy vegetables-releases phytonutrients , which fights depression
Rainbow foods – A boon in fighting depression
Mona suggests eating rainbow foods to fight depression. This includes eating different colored fresh fruits and vegetables. This supplies essential phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals which are essential in fighting depression.
Foods to avoid depression
- Refined sugars
- High fructose sugars
- Foods cooked in hydrogenated oils
Mona says that research has indicated consuming wheat and gluten increases the chances of depression. So avoiding these foods will be good for brain health.
Grocery shopping-Depression fighting foods
- Buy a fatty fish- Fatty fish is a great brain food.
- Avoid farm fish as it may be high on antibiotics and heavy metals
- Say No to stinky fish
- Consume fish the same day you bought
- Keep fish in insulated bag after buying, it keeps the fish cool
- Vegetarians can eat walnuts; however the serving size has to be the amount which fits your fists. Try snacking 2-3 times it a day
- Almonds are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is called calming mineral
- Flax seeds are high in fiber (1 Table spoon contains 2 mg of fiber)
Super foods against depression
- Herbs like ashwagandha and rhodiola ( available in the form of pills)
- Green Tea
- Beans and legumes