People suffering from depression may become happier by changing their diet. No specific diet will improve the mood instantly but certain nutrients may affect the production of brain chemicals like neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, like serotonin are very important for mood regulation. Neurotransmitters are nourished from proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and omega 3. A protein rich diet will boost alertness, energy levels and concentration ability.
Some excellent sources of protein include: poultry, fish, eggs, beans , nuts, soy and milk products. Complex carbohydrates like wholegrain, fruit and vegetable are essential as they increase the serotonin levels.
We also need:
- vitamin B1 – for a healthy nervous system;
- Vitamin B6 to balance hormones;
- Vitamin C to enhance the inmune system;
- omega 3 found in salmon, tuna, seafood dark green vegetables and certain oils are essential for mental health It has been proved that low level of omega 3 increases the vulnerability for depression
Studies show that:
- people following a mediterranean diet are less likely to suffer from depression.
- The likelighood of suffering from depression for someone that follows a typical western diet, high in saturated fat, is up to 50% higher.
- High caffeine intake is associated with anxiety,depression and insomnia
- sugar in coffee, snack foods and soda are also associated with in depression
- alcohol in large quantities can contribute to depression
- If you are prone to depression you should avoid processed refined foods, can foods, artificial colourants, sweetener, preservatives, fried food, high fat dairy food, any meat or fish using antibiotics or steroids.
Diet may not be the only cause of depression but could contribute to it. It is worth mention that this applies to all people from young to elderly. Senior citizens, specially, tend to not take cae of their nutrition and then suffer from depression, they isolate themselves and life has no meaning any more or get sick often. If they continue to eat properly this could be avoided in many cases, and they would have a happier old age.