According to several studies more than 15 million people annually in the U.S are showing symptoms of depression. This mental illness affects people irrespective of sex, age, origin and economic status. In other words, depression is a mental state in which the sadness prevents people from doing everyday activities. It is a disorder experienced by the entire body and affects the mood, the thoughts, and the overall health of an individual. In fact, it affects the way someone feels about himself and about those around him, and can even affect our everyday needs like food and sleep.
Depending on the severity and symptoms, depression can be classified into three types: unipolar, which is the most common type, dysthymia - a chronic type and bipolar disorder, which consist of periods of depression, as well as periods of increased energy and good mood.
There are many possible causes of this condition: loneliness, financial problems, a stressful lifestyle, family problems, the death of a loved one, heredity, chronic pain or health problems such as diabetes, alcohol or drug abuse, and early childhood trauma are some of the reasons that can trigger this disorder. Apart from these factors, it has been found that our diet can also affect our mood. For example, the lack of vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12, in addition to the absence of biotin, folic acid and pantothenic acid from our diet can also lead to treatment for unipolar depression. Carbohydrates can relieve the symptoms of mild depression by increasing serotonin levels, which is the same way that most antidepressants work.
To fight feelings of sadness you should also consume omega 3-fatty acids contained in oily fish, tuna, salmon and flaxseed. Many studies have linked the Japanese diet with low levels of depression. This diet includes 15 times more omega 3-fatty acids compared to the consumption of western Europe and the U.S.
What is more, you need to keep in mind that while it is good to maintain low levels of fat in our diet, it is not a good idea to avoid it completely. Diets with less than 25% of fat may be harmful to people suffering from this condition, because it reduces the production of serotonin.
Foods that help fight depression:
* Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (like fish)
* Spinach and Beans
* Broccoli and cauliflower
* Black rice
* Fruits rich in antioxidants
Additionally, it is highly recommended to restrict the consumption of foods like white bread, rice, soda, chips, cookies and candies.
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