Eating tips to help fight depression

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A meal centered on herbs and fish
There are foods that can help alleviate depression. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]

Depression, also known as the ‘cold of the mind’, can come to anyone. However, if left unattended, it can lead to extreme choices, so we must actively deal with it from the beginning. The priority is to receive a diagnosis from a psychiatrist and receive appropriate treatment.

Along with this, you should practice ways to alleviate depression in your daily life. Many studies have shown that physical activity, such as exercise, can help alleviate depression. When you exercise, the brain chemicals that make you feel good are secreted, which has the effect of improving depressed mood.

The food you eat every day also affects depression. Foods high in saturated fats, refined sugars, and ultra-processed ingredients rank among the worst. Experts agree that “adhering to a healthy diet and regular exercise can help manage symptoms of depression.”

A healthy, balanced diet has many benefits not only for depression but also for overall physical health. Experts say, “When you have depression or are negatively affected by the change of seasons, eating the right foods can help you overcome those symptoms.” Based on the results of several studies, we specifically looked at foods to avoid and foods to eat when you have depression.

◇Foods to avoid

Foods containing caffeine and sugar

Caffeine can be difficult to completely eliminate from your diet. However, if you are experiencing symptoms such as depression, it is good to drink caffeinated beverages in moderation. Caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns and make you feel anxious, neither of which is helpful for depression. People who consume more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (the amount found in four cups of coffee) may need to cut back.

Avoiding refined sugar is another way to improve your mood. Sugar may make you feel stronger at first, but it won’t take long to make you feel weak and saggy. Instead, you need to stick to foods that will keep your blood sugar at a more even level. Foods such as lean proteins such as lean meats, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and fruits and vegetables provide a certain level of energy.

△Alcohol and illegal drugs

People with depression can easily turn to alcohol or other self-medication. Although these substances seem to relieve symptoms in the short term, they only make things worse. Alcohol and drugs can mess with your sleep cycle, cause mood swings and anxiety.

If you are taking prescription drugs, alcohol and illegal drugs can cause you to experience negative side effects and even make your drugs ineffective. If you’re having trouble quitting illegal drugs or alcohol, you should talk to your doctor. Doctors can recommend programs to help you quit drinking.

◇Helpful food

△ Mood-boosting “good” carbs

Eating carbohydrates stimulates the brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. So instead of trying to avoid carbs, eating the right kind of carbs can be a good option when you’re depressed. Choose whole wheat bread and other healthy carbohydrates. For snacks, stay away from sugary foods and eat fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods.

Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids

A major benefit associated with omega-3 fatty acids is improved brain function. However, studies have shown that foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can help manage symptoms of depression. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fish, nuts, canola and flaxseed oil, and dark green leafy vegetables.

△ Vitamin D foods

Several studies have shown that people who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to experience symptoms related to depression. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, but you can also get vitamin D from food. Foods high in vitamin D include fish, tofu, and milk.

Foods containing selenium

Selenium is an element essential for good health. Several studies show a link between selenium deficiency and depression. Additional studies suggest that taking selenium may reduce feelings of depression. Foods rich in selenium include nuts, whole grains, legumes, seafood, and lean meats. However, too much selenium can be toxic, so you should check with your doctor before taking selenium supplements.

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