Many have heard the question posed what came first, the chicken or the egg? But how does that concept apply to Depression? It’s well-known that when we’re depressed, our motivation and interest in maintaining a healthy and balanced Diet subsides in the same way our energy does. Harvard Medical Students positioned that same question in relation to Depression; what came first, depression or a poor diet?
Thankfully, researchers have addressed this question and found that a healthy diet was indeed associated with a significantly decreased risk of developing depressive symptoms. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, patients were treated for two years with Antioxidants or placebos. After two years, those who were treated with antioxidants had a significantly lower Depression score.
AWHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Eating healthy foods gives you a better chance to reduce your Depressive symptoms than eating a diet of processed food that may be high in sugars and unhealthy fats.
Additionally, it’s known that there are approximately 10 times as many Bacterial cells as human cells in the body. These bacteria serve many purposes including the curation of Vitamin K, digesting the food we consume and even regulating our Immune System.
This implies that maintaining a healthy Gut Bacteria and overall diet can improve your mood.
SO, WHAT SHOULD I EAT?
Suggested foods to eat are lots of Green Leafy Plants (including fruits and vegetables), whole unprocessed grains, seeds & nuts, and lean proteins such as Pastuered Eggs,or Fish. (Wild, not Farmed!). To break them down even further, take note of the following foods and their purpose (all of which fight Depression):
- Inflammation: Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Berries, Mushrooms and Onions.
- Mood Boosting & Omega 3: Walnuts, Chia Seeds, Fish (Wild Salmon, Tuna and Sardines), and even certain brands of Organic Eggs, or yogurt.
- Oleic Acid: Avocado, Raw cheese, pasta and meats such as chicken, beef or pork
- Antioxidants: Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries and Blackberries are some of the highest Antioxidant foods available to us. Other foods include Sweet Potato, oranges, and peppers.
- Folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid: Tomatoes, Broccoli, Spinach and Brussels Sprouts.
WHICH FOODS SHOULD I AVOID?
Avoid foods made with added sugars or flours such as baked goods (donuts and pastries), breads, pastas and processed cereals. One should also minimize the consumption of animal fats and processed meats such as bacon.
OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER
It’s important to remember that health starts from within. Maintaining a healthy balance of self-care, such as providing yourself with adequate Sleep, Hydration and Physical Activity is just as important as eating well.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that supports the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Having balanced health helps with everything from Cardiovascular Disease, Dementia, Cancer and even Mental Health disorders including- you guessed it – Depression!
If this article has inspired you to turn a new leaf and start becoming healthier, be sure to follow my social media pages. I post other content on Health, Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Functional Nutrition that can help you keep your life on track. www.facebook.com/drmindyboxer
Don’t forget! Schedule an Acupuncture appointment with me if you have any questions about Depression and how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help.
I am safely seeing patients during COVID-19, in office, as well as though TeleMedicine. Please call to set up an appointment to stay healthy & resilient during this year!
310. 450. 9711. firstname.lastname@example.org