Get rid of Mood Swings and Depression!!!!
from nutritionist Lisa Guy
Mental illness, such as depression, is one of the most common health problems in Australia, with one in five people experiencing it at some point. People who are depressed find it difficult to function on a daily basis, they have feeli
ngs of worthlessness, they often lack motivation and are prone to insomnia.
The benefits of medication and therapy are well known, but there’s another important area to consider – your diet.
These good fats are needed to build the brain’s neural connections as well as the receptor sites for neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Research has shown people with depression appear to have lower levels of omega-3, in particular the EPA variety, and supplements can improve symptoms significantly.
- Eat more: Oily fish such as trout, salmon, mackerel and sardines. Flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts are also good sources.
B vitamins are important for nervous system function and the production of energy from food and are considered “anti-stress” nutrients, helping to relieve anxiety and treat depression. Niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9) all work with the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical.
- Eat more: Legumes, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegies, eggs, chicken, red meat and milk.
- Eat less: Refined grains and processed foods.
Keep blood-sugar levels balanced. If they fluctuate during the day, so will your mood and this can be a contributing factor in people with depression. A diet high in sugary, white, processed carbohydrate foods will cause sudden peaks and troughs in the amount of glucose in your blood, which can result in irritability, fluctuating mood and anxiety.
- Eat more: Wholegrains, fresh fruits, vegies and legumes. Having smaller meals more regularly and including protein-rich foods also helps to stabilise blood-sugar levels and curb sugar cravings. Try yoghurt, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken and legumes.
- Eat less: Processed or sugary foods and cut down on caffeine and alcohol.
Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel content, is manufactured in the body using the amino acid tryptophan, which must be supplied through the diet. Tryptophan is also needed to produce melatonin, which is vital for getting enough sleep. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. In clinical trials, tryptophan augmentation has been shown to diminish depression.
- Eat more: Lean chicken, turkey, beef, brown rice, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, nuts, bananas, peas, pumpkin, potato, corn and spinach.