Fighting Depression: Nutritionist Tips

Doctors distinguish between several types of depression, in particular, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which manifests itself as seasonal depression. The symptoms of SAD can be significantly reduced or even eliminated with nutrition. Nutritionists tell you about 5 basic tips for eliminating depression.

  1. Try to properly approach a balanced, varied diet

A monotonous diet often leads to a deficiency of various vitamins and minerals, which negatively affects health in general and mental health in particular.

  1. Consume more vegetables and fruits

This advice sounds trite, but its importance should not be underestimated. Since 1990, the World Health Organization recommends eating at least (and it really is at least) 5 servings of fruits / vegetables per day. This recommendation is based on the physical health benefits of fruits / vegetables. Most European countries, as well as the United States and New Zealand, officially recommend that their citizens eat 5 servings of vegetables / fruits per day. Some countries, including Japan, Denmark, Australia, however, in recent years have tried to campaign among the population to lobby for even greater consumption of fruits and vegetables. For example, in 2005 Australia launched the “Aim for 5 + 2” campaign, inviting citizens to consume 2 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables per day. In Canada, there was a similar large-scale campaign that suggested eating even more fruits and vegetables – from 5 to as much as 10 servings per day. These companies are worth millions of dollars, which speaks of their importance from the point of view of the state.

A recent large-scale study in Australia concluded that 8 servings of fruits / vegetables per day not only contribute to optimal health, but also have a positive effect on mood.

Fruit consumption has been found to have a stronger effect than vegetables on overall mental health and psychological distress scores in the study. Interestingly, there are also gender differences in the effects of consuming fruits and vegetables. Thus, according to the self-assessments of those who took part in the study, high consumption of fruits and vegetables had a much greater positive effect on the average level of happiness and their own sense of health in women than in men.

  1. Eat foods rich in tryptophan

Tryptophan is one of the main essential amino acids. This means that it is very important for life and cannot be synthesized in the body. Thus, it should be part of our diet. Amino acids, including tryptophan, act as building blocks for protein biosynthesis.

Tryptophan precedes serotonin production. Consuming this amino acid increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Significant sources of tryptophan are many high protein foods such as cod, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, yogurt, as well as oatmeal, soy, sunflower seeds, walnuts and cashews, and peas. Make sure that these foods are present in your diet every day.

  1. Eat seaweed regularly

Lack of iodine can also cause poor mental health.

The iodine intake should be regular. But if you just rush to drink iodine or consume handfuls of iodized salt, you can come to unwanted results. Iodine is best consumed in organic seafood, the most important of which is seaweed.

Other sources of iodine are animal seafood.

  1. Do not jump in blood sugar

Blood glucose levels are directly correlated with carbohydrate intake. The sudden release of a large amount of glucose into the bloodstream leads to a short-term surge of strength. However, after a short time, the level of glucose in the blood drops critically, which literally leads to a decline in the general level of energy, weakness. “Slow” carbohydrates release glucose into the blood much more slowly and, accordingly, the level remains stable in general. “Fast” (= “bad”) carbohydrates are predominant in sweets, many processed foods, any lemonade, sugar, all white flour products (bread, cookies, cakes, pasta). Accordingly, it is strongly advised to avoid such foods. If you really want a cake, then it is better to use it after a full complex meal, since in this case the release of sugar into the blood will be somewhat slower. “Slow” (= “good”) carbohydrates are mainly found in healthy foods with a high dietary fiber content: legumes, lentils, peas, whole grains, vegetables, seeds, bran, fruits, nuts.

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