Depression and Diet
Depression, one of the mood disorders, is a psychological disorder in which the person experiences feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt and sorrow; where alongside of symptoms like fatigue and inability to enjoy life there is deterioration in sleep and dietary patterns.
It is known that depression which causes serious changes in the person’s mood, relationships and behavior, is also associated with eating habits. Therefore a change in dietary habits in addition to psychotherapy and drug treatment will be beneficial in treatment:
- Omega-3 is an important nutrient in the treatment of depression. Lack of this nutrient, which is used for important functions in the brain, affects brain functions and triggers depression. With an intake of nutrients like fish, nuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, purslane, and spinach, the omega-3 intake can be increased. However, in patients that suffer from cholesterol problems, heart problems or blood pressure problems some food items should be consumed at an amount recommended by the patient’s doctor.
- Attention should be paid to a daily intake of Vitamin B, C, D and magnesium. The Vitamin B requirement of a person can be met through cereals like wheat, bulgur-wheat, lentils; the requirement for Vitamin C can be met through nutrients like oranges, kiwi fruit, lemons, broccoli, pepper. Sunlight and an intake of nutrients like fish, milk and eggs can meet the Vitamin D requirement whilst magnesium can be obtained from nutrients like cacao, sunflower seeds, bran, almonds and flaxseed.
- By consuming protein-rich food like chicken, fish, eggs, kidney beans, hazelnuts, peanuts we can increase serotonin production and ease the symptoms of depression.
- Some studies show that people suffering from depression have low antioxidant levels. For this reason importance should be placed on consuming nutrients rich in antioxidants, like tomatoes, broccoli, blackberries, red grapes, garlic and spinach.
- Products like alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine cause certain changes in the functioning of the body, therefore their consumption should be reduced.
- The body’s daily water requirement should be met. Chamomile tea, Melissa tea and lime tea known for their relaxing effect and green tea rich in antioxidants can be consumed.
Alongside the dietary recommendations, sport activities known for their physical and psychological benefit also play an important role in the treatment of depression. Certain hormones released during sport activities have a positive effect on the person’s psychological state.
For more detailed information on depression you can read our article “Everything about Depression“.