Experts confirm that food has a direct influence on mental health. A poor diet can worsen mood and anxiety. Whereas some foods with nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, protein, iron, zinc, healthy fat have a healthy impact on the mind. Therefore, there is a plausible connection between food and depression. Mediterranean diet which is rich in vegetables and olive oil is beneficial for mental health issues.
Poor nutrition can lead to physical and mental health such as obesity and depression respectively. Obesity and depression both have a complex relationship. Research shows that people with obesity have increased chances of developing depression. And depression may lead to obesity or weight gain also. A healthy diet can help to prevent both problems.
Poor diet or unhealthy diet refers to a diet with low nutrients and fiber, higher in fat, salt, or sugar. A poor diet can also include under or overeating. A poor diet can impact your day to day life. Also, it reduces interest in enjoyable activities and daily work and study. Stress, tiredness, and incapability to work are also some areas where poor diets contribute.
Depression is a state of low mood and loss of interest in activities. Depression affects a person’s thoughts, motivation, behavior, and feelings. Depression can also affect your concentration and thinking power.
People can suffer depression in different ways such as interference with daily work, resulting in lost time and lower productivity. Depression can also influence relationships and chronic health conditions. Depression is a serious medical condition that needs proper treatment.
How Food And Depression Are Linked?
Food and depression may be related. Studies show people with mild to severe depression, if given nutritional counseling sessions and maintain a healthy diet for 2-3 months, can improve the symptoms of depression. The Diet of a person is the main factor that contributes to depression. Therefore, healthy dietary habits can help to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Addressing one’s diet works great for improving and managing the symptoms of depression.
The diet incorporates the inclusion of the important foods required by the body. These foods improve metabolism, proper blood circulation, mood, keeps your mind fresh, etc. A healthy mind results in a healthy lifestyle, and vice versa.
Nutritional psychiatry is a medical field that tells you about the relationship between mind and food. Diet is the most important component of mental health. Everything we eat has an impact on our health, especially on our mental health.
Foods To Eat
Some foods are directly linked to lower the risk of depression. Focus on fresh and whole food that is high in nutrients to maintain a healthy diet. Vitamin B is good for uplifting the mood. Antioxidants, other vitamins, protein, zinc, and omega 3 are also good in treating depression. People following Mediterranean and DASH diets are less likely to have depression. Following a proper healthy diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will lower the risk of you becoming depressed.
Foods To Avoid
To improve the symptoms of depression, avoid or limit processed refined foods, sweets, fried food, and junk food. People with depression symptoms tend to eat unhealthy food more to feel good by eating. But it is important to have self-control and maintain a healthy diet to lower the risk of depression getting worse. Obese people are most likely to have depression. Therefore, living a healthy lifestyle helps you to beat depression. Bad foods can increase weight and also interfere with your mood. Foods like sugar, soda, gluten, processed food, junk food, high sodium salt, hydrogenated oil, alcohol, and drugs should be avoided to prevent depression.
It’s clear that bad eating habits can lead to worsening of depression and physical health too. Maintaining healthy eating habits and lifestyle is a good option to prevent depression, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and other mental health disorders. Try to maintain a healthy diet by including fruits and vegetables, whole grain, seeds and nuts, fish, etc.
Bad foods like processed food, sugar, refined food, junk food, fried food, etc. can be consumed in moderate amounts occasionally. But overconsumption of unhealthy food can cause a higher risk of depression and many more physical health problems. In short, the quality of foods matters the most for a good and healthy body and mind more than the quantity.
To treat depression you can also include medications, therapy, meditation, and self-care (good that is 7-8 hrs of sleep, exercise, and many more).