While depression is a condition of the mind, having a diet full of good nutrition can play a part in helping you work through the problem. Without the proper nutrition in our diets, we increase the risks of illness and disease, as well as an increase in symptoms of depression.
What is depression?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless. If these feelings persist for more than two weeks, then you are most probably depressed. Not only are there emotional and mental factors involved with depression, there are physical ones as well. In addition, there are nutritional factors that can have a great impact on depression and how you feel about yourself and life.
How does nutrition affect depression?
Nutrition can have a lot to do with the onset or exacerbation of feeling depressed. We have all heard of comfort foods. These are foods that make us feel better when we feel bad.
You may not be feeling so hot emotionally, so in order to feel better you might grab a carton of your favorite ice cream or chocolate bar. Do this enough times and you begin to gain weight. By gaining weight, your self esteem and body image take a nose dive, resulting in the symptoms of depression to increase. As your depression worsens, you turn to these comfort foods more often and the situation continues to plummet.
If you have already been diagnosed with depression, you must continue to take your medication as prescribed. You can also make some lifestyle changes that will help to decrease symptoms if depression by taking better care of yourself. Lets start with diet and nutrition.
Getting proper nutrition:
It is well known the benefits of eating a well balanced diet. To do that you need to know what foods are contained in a healthy diet. A nutrition rich diet that may help decrease depression symptoms includes:
- Fresh vegetables and fruits, raw or steamed
- Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, and fish
- Whole grain carbohydrates such as breads and pasta.
- Beans, peas, and other lentils
- Low fat dairy products
- Avoid foods high in cholesterol or salt
- Drinking plenty of fluids for proper hydration, as well as to flush out impurities in the body.
You may want to talk to your doctor about nutritional supplements to increase vitamins and minerals to your diet. These will help boost how the body functions, as well as helping the brain to perform to the best of it's ability.
Your brain works best when it is fueled by good nutrition. Make sure your diet is healthy and you will be helping your brain overcome the effects of depression.