Depression can be serious. It often requires professional help or taking drugs. However, by increasing our consumption of certain essential nutrients, it can happen to prevent depression, relieve symptoms and improve the effectiveness of antidepressants.
1. Foods rich in Omega-3
In countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and Finland, where fish consumption is high, the rate of depression is usually very low. Conversely, in regions where fish consumption is low, as in North America and Europe, the rate of depression is 10 times higher. Women who rarely eat fish have two times more likely to develop depression than those who eat regularly.
Objective: It is almost impossible to consume enough omega-3 for depression only in the diet (it takes 1 to 3 grams of omega-3 per day to keep his good humor). Eat more fish such as sardines, can help prevent depression before it starts. Start eating at least two fish meals per week. If you do not like fish, add every day to cereals, yogurt, or salads, a teaspoon (5 mL) ground flaxseed, another excellent source of omega-3.
2. Foods rich in vitamin B
Most research has shown that people with depression often had a lack of folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12.
Harvard researchers found that between 15 and 38% of people with depression had a folic acid deficiency. Although it is not certain whether a cause of depression, we know that lack of folic acid can delay symptom relief brought by antidepressants.
Women taking contraceptives or hormone replacement medication may also have low levels of vitamin B6 (this may be why depression is two times higher in women than in men). In addition, vitamin B12 deficiency is common in vegans who eat no animal protein. Although it is known that they are generally beneficial to brain health, it remains to prove whether the B vitamins can prevent or treat depression.
Objective: Vitamin B6: 1.3 to 1.5 mg per day. A portion (100 gr / 3, 5 oz) of tuna or a cup of chick peas can easily do the trick. Buckwheat flour is another good source. Vitamin B12: 2.4 micrograms (2.4 mg) per day. You can easily get from eating beef or eggs. Folic acid: 400 mg per day. Just eat a little more than a cup of cooked lentils or a cup of cooked spinach with a glass of orange juice. Asparagus and avocado are also good sources of folic acid.
3. Amino acids: tryptophan what?
Tryptophan is essential for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. British researchers found that a gram of tryptophan taken three times a day can improve mood.
Objective: It is impossible to get as much tryptophan in the diet than the British researchers have used in their study. So just to incorporate into our daily diet of foods rich in tryptophan (such as peanuts, fish, milk, dates and even chocolate). It can also help our body to produce its own tryptophan by eating more meat and soy protein (a good source of amino acid).
Helpful tip: Eat turkey. It is not only a good source of tryptophan, but it also contains B vitamins essential to the brain and good amounts of iron, selenium and zinc, other nutrients being studied for their effect in relieving depression.
4. Complex carbohydrates
Carbohydrates contribute indirectly to the production of serotonin. Simple carbohydrates such as sugary foods, starches and products made from white flour boost serotonin levels. Therefore, we are instinctively inclined to eat when we grind black. But these foods are rapidly increasing the blood sugar that falls too fast. When blood glucose falls, our mood also falls. Erratic fluctuations in blood glucose levels, caused by over-consumption of these foods, exhaust the adrenal glands, which causes fatigue and depression.
In contrast, complex carbohydrates, like those found in whole grain products (bread, rice and pasta), fruits, vegetables and legumes, stimulate and support serotonin without causing drastic fluctuations in blood glucose .
Goal: Eat 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, in addition to consuming three servings of grain products whole grain. A bowl of high fiber cereal in the morning and a sandwich made with 2 slices whole grain bread for lunch, you will get there.
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