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According to WHO data, over 300 million people in the world suffer from depression. And recent studies confirm that many of these people might develop the condition due to their poor diet. Food isn’t the sole cause of this mental disorder. However, it’s a major risk factor, states Harvard Medical School. Therefore, it’s the bad diet that comes first, which means that you can protect yourself from depression by choosing a better meal plan.
What Are the Foods That Cause Depression?
Unhealthy processed junk foods are main ‘offenders’ when it comes to the issue of diet and depression. A recent study by researchers from James Cook University proved beyond doubt that eating processed fast food contributes to developing this mental disorder.
This means that the modern Western diet, which contains a lot of processed bread and meat, is depression-inducing by default. These foods are also tied to the obesity epidemic. That’s why excluding processed foods from your diet is on every good list of easy weight loss tips. If being overweight contributes to your depression, avoiding these products will help you fight both problems at the same time. Simply put, skipping processed foods completely will help depression treatment more than eating any mood-booster.
Sugar is another major contributor to a diet that causes depression. That’s actually surprising because eating sweets triggers the release of natural substances that literally make you feel happy. The effect is so strong, it’s compared to taking drugs. And like it is with any drug, crashing from your high is an invitation to depression. The fact that sugar poorly affects your metabolism and increases the risk of obesity only makes the situation worse.
What to Eat to Avoid Depression?
A healthy diet that contains a lot of plant-based foods is what you need to eat if you want to prevent depression. This isn’t a guarantee of protection, but this kind of meal plan will help improve your mental health and enhance your resilience.
The study by James Cook University mentioned above also proved that eating a lot of seafood enhances your ability to resist depression. This is believed to be a side benefit from the increased levels of omega 3 essential fatty acids.
When developing a diet to boost your mental health and ward off depression, you should use the Mediterranean diet as your guide. Note that changing your meal plan is effective not only for prevention but also for depression treatment.
Your main goal is to design a meal plan that will have a lot of protein and fiber. It should have fewer carbs and a handful of healthy fats. Excluding fat meat and dairy is one of the basic requirements of an anti-depression diet. On the other hand, including a few specific foods in your diet can help boost your mental protections naturally.
Diet for Depression: 3 Best Food Groups to Improve Your Mood
Berries give you a boost of antioxidants, especially vitamin C. They improve your wellbeing on every level, including mental. They also help your body repair itself on the cellular level, thus inhibiting the inflammatory processes associated with depression.
2. Nuts and seeds.
If you can’t stand fish or don’t have an opportunity to eat it often, nuts and seeds are the best sources of omega 3.
3. Fermented foods.
Fermented foods contain probiotics, which improve the health and function of your gut. Researchers from Caltech say that about 90% of serotonin (happiness hormone) is produced by the gut. So the healthier your digestive system is, the happier you are.