Depression diet is a combination of foods that uplift the mood and help in beating the sad and frustrated state of mind. In true clinical terms, depression is defined as a mood disorder with the feelings of anger, misery, frustration and sadness. Depression can last for years or sometimes it may end within a short period of time. This situation may occur at any point of time in the life.
This is not a kind of disease; hence there is no fixed eating plan for curing depression. Any food that puts one in a better mood can be included in the diet of an individual.
Depression Diet: Recommendations
Though there are no such foods that instantly put the individual in a better mood or ease the depression, a healthy diet is always recommended to treat any clinical condition. There is no evidence related to the occurrence of this mood disorder, but it is believed that it happens due to some chemical imbalances in the brain or it is a result of some past happenings in the life. It may be hereditary also, but no strong relation can be seen so far.
Following are the recommended components of a diet that may help in managing depression:
- High nutrient foods – Essential nutrients such as vitamins, protein, mineral and carbohydrates are required for the overall body growth and wellness. If any of these nutrients are less in the body then health may be affected and body will not be able to work at its fullest. Ill-health and under-nourished mind always lead to depression.
- Antioxidants rich food – During the normal functioning of the body, free radicals produced contribute to dysfunction of organs and ageing process. Free radicals are specifically seen to affect the brain. Though, the production of these radicals cannot be completely stopped, it can be reduced to a higher extent with antioxidants that help in taking away the destructive powers of these damaging molecules and tying them up. Beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E are such antioxidants that help in combating the situation.
- ‘Smart’ carbohydrates – A mood-boosting chemical produced by the brain called ‘serotonin’ is linked with the carbohydrate carvings. The lower level of serotonin increases the carving for carbs, hence, a sensible choice of carbohydrates should be made in order to uplift the mood. Grains, healthy fruits and vegetables along with legumes are always recommended, but sugary foods should be restricted.
- Protein-rich food – This type of food is responsible to boost alertness. An amino acid, ‘tryosine’, is present in protein-rich foods like turkey, chicken and tuna. Dopamine and norepinephrine are the two brain-chemicals that are boosted with the increased level of ‘tryosine’. This boost helps in increasing the alertness and concentration power.
Foods to be Included in Depression Diet
Here is the list of some food items that boost the energy levels and clears the mind:
- Sources of protein – yoghurt, meat, seafood, poultry, beans, low-fat cheese and lean-beef.
- ‘Smart’ carbs – Whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, rice, legumes, apple, mango and banana.
- Sources of antioxidants – For vitamin C: orange, strawberry, grapefruit, blueberries, kiwi, peppers and tomato.
For beta carotene: sweet potato, pumpkin, peach, spinach and carrots
For vitamin E: wheat germ, margarine, seeds, nuts and vegetables oils.
A study measured that higher calcium contents in the body leads to depression, whereas lower contents of magnesium leads to ‘dysthima’, a suicidal depression. Hence, depression diet should contain equal amounts of both these nutrients.
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