As an add on to my Depression blogs, we know that dietary changes can help bring about changes in the structure of the brain, both physiologically and chemically.
Both these changes can help improve mood and mental outlook. Nutrients in food helps the body stay well, repair and grow. Those nutrients include minerals, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates and fats.
There is also a connection between carbohydrates and mood, through the mood-boosting chemical Serotonin. When we eat foods high in carbohydrates such as cereal, pasta and bread, this raises the level of serotonin in the brain, which helps us stay calm and less anxious.
- Everyone can make smart choices around carbohydrates. We must limit the amount of sugary foods we consume (the refined ones) and opt for foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes that also help contribute to a good fibre intake;
- Tuna, chicken and turkey are all rich in an amino acid called Tyrosine. Tyrosine helps boost levels of chemicals found in the brain called norepinephrine and dopamine. These chemicals help the brain feel more alert and may make it easier for us to concentrate. Good sources of protein include, peas and beans, low fat cheese, organic lean beef, fish including oily fish, low fat organic milk, soy products, yoghurt and poultry;
- Antioxidant foods will compliment foods when treating a particular problem, i.e. depression, because not only do those foods that are high in antioxidants help with free radicals, they also keep the immune system functioning at optimum level which is important when fighting a condition or illness;
- Sources of antioxidant foods include apricots, carrots, peaches, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach, which all include sources of beta-carotene. Foods containing vitamin C, include broccoli, grapefruit, blueberries, oranges, peppers, strawberries, tomatoes and kiwi fruits. Foods containing vitamin E, include nuts and seeds, wheat germ, margarine and vegetable oils.
Finally, eating foods that help us feel calm and less anxious should help reduce the symptoms of Depression.