How Healthy Eating Can Help With Depression

Have you ever heard the saying “You are what you eat” ?

There is some information in this article that actually validates this claim.

We will discuss how food can uplift your mood and help fight depression.

Hold onto your hats as we pry into the murky waters of the mind.

According to the National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMH) there are documents which clearly state that 61.5 million Americans are affected by mental illness each year.

That is one out of four adults.

Furthermore, 1 in 17 suffer from a chronic mental illness.

That is roughly 13.6 million people, which is catastrophic.

Believe it or not, adults are not the only ones affected by this epidemic.

20% of America’s youth suffer from a mental illness each year.


What is Depression?


The mental illnesses that plague America consist of problems ranging from major depression to bipolar disorder.

Individuals experiencing a mental illness have a higher chance of “Chronic medical conditions.”

Serious mental illness actually costs America an average of $193.2 billion each year.

Mental illness plagues all of America – one of the most advanced countries in the world.




Do you think you are eating healthy?

Studies show that, in fact, 9 out of 10 Americans think they have a healthy diet.

1 in 3 adults in America is obese.

However, studies still indicate, across the board, that people believe they are choosing the right diet.

This came as a shock to analysts conducting a broad survey.

Their discovery led to finding the Americans’ perception of eating healthy to be distorted and that the US citizens are actually not eating healthy at all.

Fact – what you eat can directly affect your mood.

Rosa Schnyer, a professor at the University Of Texas, describes this idea.

She states that feeding your body also feeds your mind.

If your body is not getting the proper nutrients, how will your brain?

Eating unhealthy is adding to the factor of depression.

Everybody’s open to medication, but eating a proper diet may actually be the answer to fighting this illness.




How Carbohydrates Can Boost Mood


Not all carbs are bad. In fact, there is a positive effect some can have on you.

Science shows that some carbs can actually produce serotonin.

This chemical has been known to subside depression and anxiety in humans.

The factor that makes carbs healthy is called tryptophan; it is through it that you get serotonin.

Tryptophan is an amino acid and the more of it you get, the better.

Also, the more amino acids you get, the better chance you have of synthesizing them in your brain and promoting a feeling of happiness.

This is no myth. Carbs can be very healthy in your life.

As you start eating healthy, the amount of progress you can obtain will be obvious.

The following are foods that will boost serotonin:

  • Beans
  • Butternut squash
  • Brown rice
  • Carrots
  • Lentils
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole grains
  • Yams
  • Beef
  • Duck
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Turkey

The above are good foods to get the nutrients you need and lift your spirits.

Eating well may have an “Impact on our cognitive functions.”

One great example of the power of eating healthy is the effect of tryptophan.

Do you ever feel tired after eating turkey?

This is caused by the amino acid tryptophan.

It is theorized that the reason you feel better after eating healthy carbs is the increase of serotonin in your body.


Healthy Eating and Depression


Why are you not eating healthy?

Actually, it is a catch-22. People who are depressed are the ones who most need to eat healthy, but they find it difficult.

Depression can have a direct impact on healthy eating.

It can cause a person to lose weight due to a lack of interest, or gain it due to finding comfort in unhealthy foods.

Children who are depressed are often underweight; a sense of loneliness and lack of interest can come upon them.

This is a warning sign to parents.

You must try to motivate yourself and your children to eat healthy even in times of trouble.




What is America Doing Wrong?


Surprisingly, some of the most modern countries (Canada, USA, Australia, and much of Europe) have unhealthy diets.

America has an unhealthy consumption of food.

It is easy to get distracted from your diet because of the type of food surrounding you.

America’s culture supports a negative viewpoint on proper meal consumption.

What should you do?

Recognize the problem and do not feed into it.

People that eat healthy experience longevity and happiness.


Eat More Fruits and Vegetables


A recent study in British Journal of Psychiatry shows that eating fruits and vegetables leads to life of less stress and helps in treating depression.

The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a study that showed fruits and vegetables having a positive outcome.

Those in the study who ate a healthy diet were “associated with fewer depression symptoms.”

Stay away from items such as processed sugar, fat, and even refined processed fat.

Pick up some fruits and vegetables instead.

Although sugar can help your mood, it is only a temporary relief. Eating healthy items creates a stable and long-lasting effect.

Especially if those items are fruits and vegetables.




Prozac or Healthy Eating?


Prozac is in a group of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

It can be used to treat chronic depression, panic disorder, OBC, and many other mental illnesses.

Prozac is “believed to be related to increasing serotonin activity in the brain.”

Now let us examine the facts. Eating healthy increases serotonin much like Prozac does.

Is there a link?

The facts remain – eating healthy not only helps your mood, promotes stability, increases life span, but also fights illnesses and helps to treat depression.

Just like Prozac, healthy food releases serotonin.

Eating healthy is a natural effort to create stability.

It does not always have to be a pill… Now go to the store, pick up a cart, and start shopping!


Which Foods Help with Depression


It is important to get your three meals a day.

Eating less or eating more could lead to serious side effects.

Usually, overeating and undereating is connected to problems such as depression.

However, suffering from this illness is just one factor tied to an improperly managed diet.

Overeating causes the body to absorb less nutrients in the same manner that undereating does.

It can also cause fatigue, high blood pressure, and even cancer, as well as affecting the reproductive system.

Improper eating is usually caused by depression and can stimulate even more health problems.

Foods with lots of protein such as meat, fish, lentils, and dairy products will directly lift your spirits and help your body.

Walnuts – Arizona State University released upbeat news regarding walnuts – they are filled with Omega-3, which helps to uplift your mind.

Flaxseed and chia seeds – They can be a way to get out of a funk.

Dark Chocolate – You do not have to give up chocolate to be healthy and have a positive mood.

The mood-boosting aids in dark chocolate are known as theobromine and phenylethyamine.

In fact, a Swill study showed that eating over an ounce of dark chocolate for two weeks creates a reduction in stress.

Hershey Kisses a day could help your depression and anxiety.

Low-Fat Milk – Got milk? Actually, milk can have a very positive effect on regulating your body’s mood.

In 2010, there was a study in International Achieves of Medicine; it concluded that the Vitamin D in milk helped people suffering from depression.

Greek Yogurt – The protein in Greek yogurt is said to create dopamine – a chemical located in the brain known to fight depression.

Greek Yogurt also helps increase norepinephrine – another chemical that fights stress.

What diet should you choose to be healthy and happy?

Actually the answer may lie in a Mediterranean-based diet.

This diet consists of olive oil, nuts, whole grains, fish, legumes, and vegetables.

People that adapt to this diet are 30% less likely to suffer from depression.

Maybe this is the diet for you!




Drink Plenty of Water


It may sound a little crazy, yet it is a fact – drinking water is recommended to lift your mood.

Drinking 1.2 liters of fluid each day stops you from becoming dehydrated.

Even mild dehydration can have consequences on your mood.

When you do not get enough water, your energy level decreases, you sleep more often or for longer periods, and experience fatigue.

Researchers in France released a report that directly links H2O (water) to your overall mood.

One study of 30 people showed that when water consumption was increased from 1.2 to 2.5 liters each day, the participating individuals were less likely to experience fatigue and confusion, and were “… more satisfied overall with their mood…”

Researchers even flipped the process: instead of monitoring what increasing water does, the lowering of water intake was taken a look at as well.

It reported that the lower your intake of water, the more your overall mood suffers.

One question remains: why does drinking water affect mood?

Researchers hypothesize that dehydration can have an impact on the electrolyte balance which affects your mood.


Eating Right Will Raise Your Self-Esteem


Having a bad body image can lead to depression.

One way of overcoming this problem is with a proper appetite.

One source says, “Eating a nutritious diet is essential to good health and can also help boost body confidence. If you are eating an unbalanced diet and have erratic meal patterns, you may feel demotivated and less confident.”

Sometimes people feel awkward because of their weight and it can be embarrassing.

You might even experience depression.

Yet it is clear – if you eat healthy, it will help create a better body image and reduce stress, as well as depression.

Eating healthy can decrease weight, which can also lead to higher self-esteem and a feeling of content.

This comes as valuable news due to the fact that America struggles to be healthy.

In fact, 82% of black, 77.2% of Hispanic, and 63.2 % of Caucasian women are obese; this is alarming.

People are missing out on a natural way to feel an uplifted sense of well-being.

Obesity doesn’t affect women only; it takes a toll on everybody, no matter the age, gender, or background.




Is Alcohol the Solution?


Alcohol is a popular element in many beverages and it can distort your mood.

In fact, there is a direct link between alcohol and depression.

One third of people who have major depression also suffer from alcoholism.

It gets scarier – kids are much likelier than adults to take comfort from liquor.

Teenagers are twice as likely to drink if they suffer from major depression.

Another startling fact is that women are also more likely to drink heavily during a time of depression.

Drinking is a negative form of temporary relief.

People who drink often not only suffer from severe depression, but also have a high probability when it comes to suicide.

Drinking alcohol not only affects your mind, but your body as well.

Even antidepressants can be less effective on subjects suffering from alcoholism.

Drinking exacerbates the lack of some nutrients in your brain.

One of the most important nutrition that people lack when drinking is known as thiamine.

A lack of thiamine can cause a disease known as wet brain. 

The signs of wet brain are as follows:

  • Staggering, irregular gait, and other muscular incoordination
  • Confabulation – remembering events that never happened
  • Inability to form new memories
  • Loss of memory (can be severe)
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Vision changes including double vision, eyelid drooping, and abnormal eye movements

There is no recovery once you experience damage from wet brain. However, if you stop drinking and increase your intake of good nutrients, this could most certainly give you relief. 

Be careful with alcohol!




Don’t Find Comfort in Sugar


“There is no scientific controversy here. The evidence is in.”

Sugar does not just affect your body, it affects your mind.

When eating a lot of sugary sweets, you can develop a swollen brain. This is known as metabolic syndrome Type II.

Actually, this condition is related to the inflammation that sugar causes.

Inflammation occurs because of the insulin-resistant fat cells found in sugar.

A swollen brain can cause depression, which is another reason to watch what you eat.

In fact, the large prevalence of this problem has caught the eye of psychiatrists.

Many of them have started treating depression with anti-diabetic drugs.

Pharmaceuticals such as Actos are used to control these negative mood disorders.

Actos lowers blood sugar, insulin, and helps inflammation.

As the drugs diminish problems, it is believed that depression will reduce itself.

The British Journal of Psychiatry conducted a study that involved 3,500 middle-aged participants.

Some of the participants were given healthy items such as vegetables, fruit, and fish.

The other group received more sugary sweets such as various deserts, fried food, and refined grains.

The study went on for five years and the conclusion was that the people who ate the unhealthy foods had 58% greater chance of developing depression.

A nonprofit group, Brain Bio Center, stated: “… Poor blood sugar is the single biggest factor in mood disorders.”

Their claim is that sugar may give you a temporary feeling of wellness, but does not deliver the proper amounts of glucose needed.

Sugar also affects the thyroid, which is at the base of your neck and is important in regulating your body.

The thyroid can create a direct problem when it comes to mood regulations.

If you want your mood to progress, it is important you avoid consumption of heavy amounts of sugar.

Clearly, unhealthy eating is not the answer to reducing stress, insomnia, and – of course – depression.

A study from New England Journal of Medicine listed the greatest causes of obesity: french fries, potato chips, soft drinks, red meat, processed meat, sweets and desserts, refined grains, fried foods, 100-percent fruit juice, and butter.

The Harvard University claims that trans fats have connections to an unhealthy lifestyle and are responsible for approximately 30,000 deaths a year.

The cause stems from eating unhealthy.

This costs Americans $87 billion each year. 




You may not live in the healthiest country, but who said you cannot eat well anyways?

As you witnessed, eating healthy creates beneficial wellness.

The connection you should make is that by feeding your body, you are also feeding your mind.

Take care of your body and live a healthy lifestyle.


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