I have wanted to write about depression for quite a while but have never been able to bring myself to do it- it is such a vast and complex topic. After writing my two part piece on “superfoods” I thought I may take a look at how food can be used in alleviating depression.
Although depression can be caused due to a massive range of problems, often physical imbalances in the body are seen. Generally low serotonin levels. Things like a good diet can help create better support for your body and some are also suggested to enhance serotonin production while others are important in other ways and can affect mood; for example Omega 3, vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 and folate.
I did a bit of digging and it seems that a lot of these vital components to a healthy diet for the mind are also connected with my pieces on the diet for a healthy body. It seems these two things are intrinsically linked. So to get the full benefit of this piece please check out my articles:“Superfood” Diet, “Superfood” Diet Part II
Briefly, they recommend things like fruits, fish and nuts that are all good for your body but that same omega 3 is also good for your mind. Low levels of omega 3 have been linked with depression so it is vital to get your daily allowance. Things like fish and nuts are great for this.
Protein rich foods are also shown to be beneficial in a diet in order to alleviate symptoms of depression. Although not conclusively proven, It has be suggested that protein rich foods, such as poultry, can help in increasing the production of serotonin in the brain. This chemical is linked with happiness.
Furthermore the benefits of poultry also extend to providing vitamins B6 and B12, and fish, mentioned in “”superfoods” diet”, is also a great source of these vitamins.
Folate can be found plentifully in vegetable and are especially prominent in asparagus, another food mentioned under superfoods.
Low levels of Vitamins B12, B6 and folate, have been conclusively linked to depression. Not only is the nutrient imbalance bad for your body but can lead to raised levels of homocysteine, which is a recognised cause of depression.
As great as this biological treatment of depression may be there is also the deep and prominent, psychological element that requires support. There are numerous new organisations, especially for young people, that can help them with depression. These services are there to help people. They are discreet services that will listen and advise if wanted.
So as much as I would like to sell my diet plans and health benefits as the best thing since sliced bread (which is ironic since bread is rather high in carbs and sugar, especially white processed bread which comes ready sliced) I cannot. It is beneficial but only when combined with the right psychological support.