The Effects Of Diet On Depression

Thanks to the hectic lifestyle we lead plus the drain of mental and physical strength we suffer from in order to meet deadlines, an average of 70% people all over the world face depression of one kind or the other. This causes panic attacks, and in acute cases, even results in suicidal tendencies. Consulting the psychiatrist and taking the medicines prescribed is not a solution, as most anti-depressive medications are habit forming, and sooner or later the user becomes a drug addict.

Junk food boosts depression
However, it is strange to note that nobody correlates diet with depression. Be prepared to continue suffering from depression if you take junk food. Based on a study by researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University, people who eat junk (processed) food increase their risk of depression. These foods contain high levels of carbohydrates, saturated fats, and cholesterol increases the chances of depression by 40%. On the one hand, studies have also found that people eating diet, high in high-fat dairy products, fried food, sweet desserts, chocolates, and processed meat were more susceptible to depression. On the other hand, people eating a diet of fish, vegetables, and fruits were less likely to succumb to depression. This proves that diet does play a healthy role in increasing or decreasing the chances of a person to suffer from depression.

Behind the scene
It is a common perception that depression takes place because of a chemical imbalance in the brain. However, it does not describe the complexity of the disease. Scientific studies suggest that depression does not occur due to too little or too much of brain chemicals. On the contrary, there are numerous possible causes of depression, which includes genetic vulnerability, faulty mood regulation by the human brain, medicines, as well as leading a stressful life. According to researchers, several of these forces act in tandem to cause depression.

Are anti-depressants good?
Anti-depressants temporarily provide relief by releasing chemicals that affect the part of the human brain responsible for triggering depression and panic attacks. They are helpful in the short term, but one should never become totally dependent on them. There are thousands of cases in which psychiatrists have had to increase the potency and the dosage of anti-depressant drugs to help people suffering from acute depression. It is nearly impossible for such individuals to get out of this trap, and they have to take such medications for the rest of their lives to prevent the occurrence of depression. Remember, most such medicines are narcotic in nature and habit forming too. Some of the most powerful anti-depressant drugs prevent depression by restoring the balance of serotonin in the brain. They may improve your energy level, appetite, sleep, and mood, but only as long as you take it. Apart from this, these drugs have side effects, plus pregnant as well as lactating women cannot take them. They can easily get out of their mental problems with the help of a suitable diet.

The positive effects of diet on depression
Our body typically creates molecules known as free radicals. However, they can lead to other problems such as aging, and cell damage, etc. According to studies, your brain is specifically at risk because of these free radicals. Although there is no way to stop them, you can decrease their destructive effect by eating foods, which are rich in antioxidants. Here are details of some of them.

• Beta-carotene: Sweet potatoes, spinach, pumpkins, peaches, collards, cantaloupe, broccoli, and apricots
• Vitamin C: Tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, peppers, oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, and blueberries
• Vitamin E: Wheat germ, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, and margarine

The positive role played by vitamins to cure depression
You might be surprised to hear about the relationship between Vitamin C and your mood. People having a deficiency of this vitamin often feel depressed and fatigued. Their mood improved for the better and their levels of anxiety decreased after taking food containing Vitamin C. Researchers have found that people suffering from major depression had lower levels of Vitamin E alpha-tocopherol circulating in their bloodstream. Vitamin E is a proven stress buster and is also known for its powerful antioxidant properties. Eating foods containing this vitamin will reduce your stress levels; thereby, containing your depression.