Have you been feeling low and energy-deprived lately? Have you lost interest in the tasks and activities you once loved? If your feelings and emotions seem overpowering and are affecting your life, chances are, you have depression. Unlike sadness, depression is not an emotion. It is a severe mental health disorder that requires treatment. Your diet also plays a vital role in maintaining your mental health. The type of foods you eat can worsen your condition or make it better. Therefore, you must know what to eat and what to avoid. Let’s start with the five foods you must avoid if you have depression.
Many people fall for the temptation of drinking their sorrows away with alcohol. However, consuming excess amounts of alcohol can make depression worse. While it may give you a temporary mood boost, but it eventually upsets the chemical balance in your brain, making your mental health condition worse.
Who would’ve thought ketchup could be dangerous for your mental health? Isn’t ketchup just tomatoes? Well, tomatoes are there, but so is sugar, and lots of it. Ketchup is loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners that can worsen anxiety and depression. Every tablespoon of ketchup has around four grams of sugar. If you still want some kick to your food or snacks, try homemade salsa instead.
3. Sugary desserts
High sugar content in desserts can leave you craving for more. Sugar releases endorphins that make you feel happy after eating desserts and cakes. However, as you indulge in the sweet dishes to devour your sorrows, the sugar upsets chemicals in your brain. As a result, mental health problems like depression can worsen.
Most regular sodas are high in sugars. Some carbonated drinks contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar per serving. However, if you think you can skip on sugars and use diet sodas, you’re in bad luck. The artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas and drinks have been linked with mental health decline, migraines, mood disorders, and depressive episodes in several studies.
5. Junk food
Most junk food is heavily processed and contains harmful components that damage your brain. According to studies, eating processed meat, fried food, and refined cereals makes you more prone to develop the symptoms of depression.
Though you may be tempted to indulge in these foods, it is best to avoid them and opt for healthier options. Some foods are great in managing the symptoms of depression and mental illnesses.
If you’re depressed, you should incorporate the following in your diet:
Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and reduce oxidative stress from your brain. They have loads of vitamin D, making them super healthy for your brain and neurons. Some depression treatment medications are also derived from particular types of mushrooms.
We’ve all heard the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for our brain and body. Did you know that walnuts are loaded with them? One serving of walnuts yields almost 2.3 grams of these omega-3s, making them a perfect diet constituent if you have depression.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, you name it! Almost all of them are beneficial for your mind. Berries, loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, making them an ideal brain food if you have depression.
Seafood like oysters, clams, sardines, crabs, and fish are selenium-rich. Several studies link low levels of selenium with worsening mood disorders. Whereas taking selenium supplements can enhance your mood. Other sources of selenium include whole grains, beans, legumes, and low-fat dairy products.
Flaxseeds are considered a fantastic brain food due to the high levels of omega-3s in them. Since these fatty acids lift the mood, they can help to manage the symptoms of depression. Flaxseeds also help maintain hormone balance, consequently affecting your food. Just have them in a glass of water or add them to your desserts and enjoy.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!