Unfortunately depression is becoming common and serious problem of modern society. Depression is not just emotional status or strange feeling – it is the complicated disease that impacts the brain and caused by changes in brain chemistry. It is estimated that about 20-25% of women and about 10-15% of men could experience an episode of depression at some point in their lifetime. There are several factors which can trigger depression – severe stress, genetics, hormonal “storms”, grief, complicated difficult life, stressful job, family abuse, etc., etc. Modern medicine can provide pretty effective treatment but sometimes treatment is temporary, sometimes drugs are so strong that client loose his own personality. Some health experts recommend antidepression strategy which includes antidepression lifestyle changes and antidepression diet.
It is well known that daily food consumption is playing a crucial role in our health. Healthy food is feeding body cells, providing vital elements, helping body functions and ensuring proper body regulations.
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are” (Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1826)
“Man is what he eats” (Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, 1863)
“Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.” (Victor Lindlahr, 1923)
“You are what you eat” (Adelle Davis, 1930)
So, no doubts that food diet could be crucial in depression management. Actually eating healthy has been found out as one of the major antidepression methods (lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, absence of unhealthy foods – sugar, refined food, fat, oils).
When we are stressed or depressed, we are overeating, starving and/or binge drinking just for suppressing our negative feelings. But in reality for defeating the depression, we need balanced meal three times a day with no snacks in between.
There are several food products which can be considered as natural antidepression products – try use them every time you feel down:
Bananas – contain so called “tryptophan”, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin (“mood hormone”) which helps us to feel relaxed, happy and in control.
Tomatoes – full of “lycopene” which helps fight inflammation triggered by stress.
Dark chocolate – stimulate neurotransmitter in the brain and trigger body happy feelings.
Sunflower seeds – source of the amino acid phenylalanine which the body turns into the brain chemical called “norepinephrine” (natural antidepressant).
Nuts – full of protein (energy), omega-3 fats, vitamin E – known as “mood-boosting snacks” (perfect elements for depression treatment).
Black-eyed peas – full of “folate” which plays an important role in the creation of opamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, three brain chemicals that help regulate sleep, memory and mood.
Potatoes (purple only) – potatoes contain “anthocyanin antioxidants”, which can help reduce inflammation which contributes to bad moods.
Oregano – contains caffeic acid, quercitin and rosmarinic acid, which are known as antidepression, antifatigue and antianxiety chemicals.
Antidepression – vitamins and supplements
Modern market is full of antidepression vitamins and supplements but only few can be recommended as antidepression products:
Fish oil – full of omega-3 fats which are important in nerve signal transmissions in the brain; it can ease depression symptoms, improve mood, reduce fatigue, strengthen memory and eliminate unpredictable mood swings.
B-vitamins – complex B vitamins (especially B6 and B3) help body to conserve the amino acid tryptophan and convert as much tryptophan as possible into serotonin which is responsible for mood. It was discovered that B6 can balance brain’s neurotransmitters, elevate mood, improve memory, strengthen mental performance and relieve depression symptoms.
The amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) – is converted into serotonin in the body and it is responsible for increasing levels of serotonin (“happy hormone”).
Theanine – well known as an effective trigger for releasing the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA activates the major calming neurotransmitters, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety in clients with depression or depressive symptoms.
Vitamin D – main vitamin which is responsible for maintaining healthy teeth and bones but also can combat anxiety and depression.
Ginkgo biloba – herbal extract that can increase blood flow to the brain, improve memory, strengthen concentration, increase energy level, boost mood, reduce anxiety and increase levels of serotonin.
Tyrosine – another regulator of neurotransmission in the brain; it can ease depression symptoms, improve brain focusing, reduce fatigue, defeat stress, boost moods and improve body mental and physical performances.
Vitamin C – antioxidant that can strengthen immune system, protect body from different diseases (mainly mood-related problems), ease depression symptoms and reduce the risk of recurrent depression.
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.