Depression is a commonly occurring mental condition that affects a lot of people around the world. It can severely affect life and normal daily activities and, if not taken seriously, can lead to critical situations in the long term. Medical treatment and counselling can treat depression and should be sought at once. However, combining a healthy diet that elevates mood with a few lifestyle changes can also go a long way in improving your well being.
Although there is no straightforward diet plan to cure depression, there are some foods that can help you manage your symptoms. Dietician Priyatama Srivastava is the best dietician in Gurgaon and here are some foods and lifestyle tips that she recommends for handling depression.
Our body keeps making free radicals which are the waste products of body processes. These free radicals cause ageing and cell damage. These also affect the brain and can become a cause for anxiety and depression.
Although there is no way to completely prevent free radicals, consuming food that is rich in antioxidants can reduce the damage caused by them.
Fresh plant-based foods are a good source of antioxidants. Some of these foods are berries, fresh fruits and vegetables, soy and other plant products. Also, include foods rich in beta-carotene such as broccoli, carrots, peaches, apricots, spinach.
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Carbohydrates are related to the secretion of serotonin, which is the hormone that stabilises our mood and makes us feel happy. This is why low serotonin activity can make us crave carbs.
But keep in mind to only choose complex carbs such as whole grains and try to avoid simple carbs such as cakes or cookies. You may also include fruits, legumes and vegetables containing healthy carbs in your diet.
Intake of selenium has been found to improve mood and reduce anxiety. Selenium can be found in foods such as
Studies have found that Vitamin D also plays a key role in managing the mood as Vitamin D receptors are also located in your brain. It has also been found that people with symptoms of depression ended up feeling better as the levels of Vitamin D in their body increased.
Though Vitamin D can be found from exposure to the sun, you can also include some food sources in your diet. Foods rich in Vitamin D include:
Research has shown that people who don’t get enough Omega-3 acids in their body are more likely to have depression. Omega-3 plays a vital role in reducing brain diseases. It can also enhance brain function and protect nerve cells.
Some good sources of Omega-3 are:
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Protein-rich foods like tuna, turkey and chicken also help you make serotonin which elevates your mood. Protein can also help you clear your mind. Healthy protein-rich foods include beans and peas, lean beef, fish, milk soy products and yoghurt.
Weight and depression are much closely related to each other. Overweight people are more likely to fall victim to depression and people with depression are more likely to gain weight. It is linked with the hormonal changes that happen in your body due to depression.
Though it is important to follow a healthy diet to reduce the symptoms of depression, you must also try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make some changes to your routine so you can allocate some time for physical exercises or yoga. Practising meditation is also a good idea to clear your mind and feel energised.
Alcohol and drugs can interfere with your mood and decrease the effectiveness of your prescribed medication while also causing other health issues and worsening your condition. It is best to steer away from them.
Try to get a good amount of sleep and reduce your caffeine intake so you can sleep better. It helps your brain to rest and heal itself.
Those were some tips and a diet for depression that you can follow to feel better. For more details, you can always get in touch with Dietician Priyatama Srivastava, the best dietician in Gurgaon. She can help you with a customised diet plan depending on your existing medical condition and eating habits.