Are You Eating Foods Known to Cause Depression?
Scientists are aware that diet can have a profound effect on physical health. Now, researchers are uncovering increasing evidence that shows what we eat can also affect our mental health. A study at the University of Eastern Finland finds a healthy diet can lower the risk of severe depression.
It is a known fact that those suffering from depression have a poor quality diet that is lacking in nutrients. Yet it has not been clear if this is a cause-effect relationship.
Scientists involved in the study evaluated the diets of 2,000 men over a course of at least 13 years. They obtained results supporting the hypothesis that certain foods increase the risk of the illness while other foods lower the risk. An additional finding was that men who lost weight by improving their diet and increasing their exercise displayed less depression.
These Foods May Increase Depression
An elevated incidence of depressive symptoms was found among participants who consumed an unhealthy diet. These foods included:
1. Sugary desserts and beverages
3. Processed deli meats
4. Processed convenience foods
5. French rolls
6. Baked and processed potatoes
Live in the Now consulted with Dr. Michael Wald, Director of Nutritional Services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, New York. “The Standard American Diet is SAD because, as the acronym indicates, the consumption of processed foods along with foods having poor nutritional value can cause depression in susceptible people,” he says. “Diets high in refined carbohydrates have deficiencies in B-complex vitamins and protein in addition to magnesium and chromium, all of which can cause depression.”
Low levels of vitamin D are also known to cause or worsen depression, Wald adds. “One source of vitamin D, although not the most reliable source, is from the sun,” he notes.
These Foods May Protect Against Depression
A lower risk of depression was found among participants who ate a healthy diet. Their eating plan consisted of fruits, vegetables and berries along with whole grains and low-fat cheese. Fish and poultry were also a part of their dietary regime.
Aside from a generally healthy diet, an increased intake of folate was linked with a decreased risk of depression. Fruits and vegetables as well as berries and whole grains are good sources of this nutrient.
Kiwifruit are Depression Busters
In another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Sciences, researchers found eating two kiwi per day could elevate mood and help prevent depression. Scientists evaluated and compared a group of men who ate two kiwi per day with a group of men who ate one-half of a kiwi per day. They discovered those who ate two per day had more energy and were significantly less depressed than the other group.
The authors attributed the benefit to the fact that kiwi are an exceptional source of vitamin C. According to researcher Professor Margreet Vissers, this vitamin activates quite a few enzymes that increase the degree of metabolic energy and neurochemicals in the brain.
When your spirits are low, it may be tempting to reach for junk food or a sugary treat to console yourself. However, these two studies underscore the fact that unhealthy food only adds to the problem. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet can equip your brain with the nutrients it needs for optimal mental health.
Depression is one of the top health challenges in the world, as it affects many and plays a vital role in quality of life. The use of prevention measures like eating a nutritious diet and engaging in healthy lifestyle practices is vastly preferable to taking antidepressants, which have considerable side effects.
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Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.