According to recent reports, Scandinavian and Asian countries have significantly lesser rate of depression compared with the rest of the world. As reported by the researchers, it is because of the food they eat. But, are there really any depression-fighting foods?
[Read: Tips to Beat Depression]
The doctors opine that though there is no specific diet to treat depression, some food groups can be beneficial in improving the condition. A healthful diet along with proper medical care is essential for fighting depression. Given below is a list of food groups that should comprise a significant portion of the patient’s diet.
Carbs are mood-boosters and have a calming effect on a person’s disturbed state of mind. Carbohydrates contain serotonin, which is known to uplift mood; therefore, people with depression should not abstain from eating various sources of carbohydrates. It is important to remember that refined carbohydrate sources are not healthful and result in peaks and valley in the blood sugar levels. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains make up health-friendly carbohydrates and offer lots of fibre too.
Food items rich in protein such as poultry items i.e. turkey, tuna and chicken etc. contain higher amount of tyrosine. Tyrosine is known to boost the production of brain chemicals namely dopamine and norepinephrine. Increased level of these chemicals triggers alertness and improves concentration. Protein rich foods are also known to increase energy levels. Protein sources that you may include in your diet are poultry items, seafood such as fish, soy products, vegetables (beans and peas) and dairy products (milk, yoghurt and low-fat cheese).
Studies have shown that if a person has low level of vitamin B, folic acid and higher amount of a protein type called homocysteine, he or she has higher chances of suffering from depression. Doctors advise the patients with depression to increase their consumption of B vitamins, especially vitamin B2 and B6 along with folic acid as these help in decreasing homocysteine levels. Fight depression with a diet that comprises fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans and legumes.
As mentioned earlier, serotonin (happy chemical) is important to mar depression. Low levels of serotonin can possibly trigger depressive state of mind, thus its undisrupted production is imperative. An amino acid called tryptophan can induce smooth production of this brain chemical; therefore, people with depression should eat food sources rich in tryptophan. Meat, chicken, soy products, fish, eggs, oats, chocolates and beans are excellent sources of tryptophan.
Doctors also recommend that patients with depression adhere to a diet, but not avoid medical assistance or substitute diet for treatment.
Read more articles on Depression.
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