A great number of us eat diets which are far from ideal. We rush around scoffing quick junk food and fast food and pay scant regard to what we are putting into our bodies. The association between diet and depression is well known.
There are multiple minerals, vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to function effectively. However, many of us do not eat what we should.
We eat diets full of sugar and fat. We eat diets which hardly include fruit, vegetables and whole grains. So we end up not properly nourished and not feeling at our best.
Many of us rush to carbohydrates and sweets to get relief from bad moods. However, the crash after the carbohydrate or sugar high can be worse than the initial low feeling.
Multiple minerals and vitamins are involved in the diet-depression correlation, particularly B vitamins. B vitamins are linked to our mental functioning and our nervous system. Several minerals impact on wellbeing , like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and selenium. If you are not getting enough of these nutritional basics this will not fully explain your depression. However, improving your diet can only help.
Ten Step Diet for Depression
There are many different nutrients and kinds of foods that seem to affect depression, hence planning a diet for depression can be somewhat tricky.
Should you consider that your diet is connected to depression, it would make sense to talk to your GP or a nutritionist.
Ensure you do not self-medicate and do not stop taking any medicines you have been taking for depression without consulting your GP.
- A diet that is good for depression has much in common with a good, healthy diet for overall wellbeing. Such a diet ought to include lots of fruit and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. It ought to be limited in relation to fatty foods and sugars.
- Should your GP discover you have a mineral or vitamin deficiency, you may be advised to have certain supplements. A general multi-vitamin is a good idea anyway.
- Eating regular meals can really help with the mood swings which may arise due to irregular blood sugar levels. Ensure you eat breakfast should you be going without.
- Some people find it easier to lose weight if they have a few smaller meals a day as well as snacks instead of restricting their diet to three huge meals.
- Drinking enough water is very important for us all and is especially important for people who suffer from depression. Water assists in the flushing out of toxins and waste products from your body. It also provides some of the energy you need, helps absorb nutrients from the foods you eat and helps better functioning of your organ systems.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are considered to be essential for those on a diet for depression. These fatty acids are crucial for the brain to function healthily and are in the main available by eating fatty fish like salmon, mackeral and tuna.
- There are lots of things which you can add to your diet to aid the relief of depression. There are also certain things you ought to cut out, particularly alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol can make your mood worse as it is a depressant; caffeine is known to overstimulate your system.
- Exercise is an excellent idea, as it releases endorphins in our brain which produce a feel good factor. Start at even just 5 minutes per day, or take the dog for a walk. Exercise accompanied by a healthy diet makes an immense difference to people with mild depression.
- Yoga is also a great method of relaxation and exercise. It helps you to release your toxins and boost your wellness by boosting the endorphins in your brain, which are responsible for feeling good.
- Meditation is also key to dealing with depression. Mild depression mainly arises due to negativity. Meditation enables us, over time, to realise we believe our thoughts to be real and think we have no release from them. Hence, when we believe our negative thoughts for a while, we become that negativity. And the cycle repeats itself enough times for us to cease enjoying life like those around us or as we once did.
Meditation, if you like, enables us to realise we do not have to believe our thoughts, and in turn, we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts. Meditation frees us from the grip of our thoughts. We have a choice as to how we live the rest of our lives, in misery and negativity, or more positively. It greatly helps us to re focus and enjoy life more. It improves our quality of life and helps us to become joyous and relish life.