Published on February 18th, 2012 | by No Artificial
Alleviative Foods For Depression
We all go through ups and downs in our mood, but when feelings such as sadness, loneliness, exhaustion, hopelessness, and irritability persist, then we may be facing the problem of depression.
Depression, mood swings and fatigue can be directly linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in our food. Preventing depression and anxiety is often as easy as changing our diet.
Here’s a list of top 5 mood-enhancing foods and ingredients:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in the development and function of the central nervous system. They not only can sharpen minds but they can also stabilize moods, and trigger the production of brain chemicals that help fight depression naturally. They are necessary for health and they cannot be made by humans so they must be consumed in the diet. Several studies have found that people who took omega-3 fatty acids regularly decrease in depressive symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disorders, sadness, suicidal thoughts, and decreased sex drive. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, halibut, herring, or mackerel are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seed, hemp, canola and walnut oils are also rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids
Protein Rich Foods
Protein rich foods contain high amounts of L-tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the body cannot produce. This amino acid is used by the brain to produce serotonin, which is a necessary neurotransmitter responsible for transmitting nerve impulses in the brain and is essential for sleep and mood enhancement. A low-tryptophan diet can lead to low levels of serotonin which, in turn, leads to weight gain, overeating, depression, low concentration levels, anxiety and insomnia. There are a wide range of foods that are excellent sources of tryptophan, with turkey and chicken being the most well known sources. Other foods high in tryptophan include: calf liver, dairy products, soybeans, tuna, shellfish, lamb, halibut, roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Foods Rich In Vitamin B
The B-complex vitamins are essential to mental and emotional health. All B vitamins help the body turn carbohydrates into glucose, a sugar the body requires for energy and well-being. Scientists found that people with relatively low intakes of certain B vitamins may have a higher risk of developing depression than those who get more of the nutrients. B vitamins are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars, nicotine, and caffeine so it is no surprise that many of us may be deficient in these. The most common nutritional deficiency in the world is a folic acid, vitamin B12 and B6 deficiency and this is characterized by neurological symptoms such as moodiness, irritability, stress, insomnia, fatigue and anemia. There are many foods rich in vitamin B. Some natural sources include bananas, potatoes, lentils, whole grains, chili peppers, green vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and meats such as turkey and liver.
Foods High In Potassium and Iron
Iron and potassium are important nutritional elements of a balanced, healthy diet. Lack of them impairs the blood’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the body and it’s associated with depression, fatigue, weakness and anemia. Besides, potassium is important for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves. Not getting enough of this very important mineral can lead to increased irritability and anxiety. Good sources of potassium include potato, tomato, beans, beet greens, clams, bananas, avocados, prune juice, halibut, tuna, cod and spinach. You can get iron from liver, eggs, beans, oysters, clams, parsley, seaweed, peas, dried fruit, apricots and whole grain foods.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is important to the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. It catalyzes the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine and the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include depression, hysteria, and hypochondriacal symptoms. Food containing vitamin C include thyme and parsley, guava, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, kiwi, papayas, oranges, clementines, lemons, grapefruits and strawberries.
Advanced Nutritional and Human Metabolism, Groff, Smith and Gropper
Vitamin B12, folate, and homocysteine in depression: the Rotterdam Study
The Efficacy of Omega-3 Supplementation for Major Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial