Of course, it is now recognized that our diet affects our physical and mental health. It is known that chronic depression is related to long-term deficiencies in some nutrients, which results in disorders in the functioning of the neurotransmitter system. One of the neurotransmitters is serotonin and its deficiency may contribute to an increased risk of depression. Modern diet rich in highly processed products rich in simple carbohydrates, saturated fatty acids, trans-fats, a diet low in vitamins and minerals may increase the risk of developing depression. In addition, the highest rates of mental health ilnesses are observed in medium and high developed countries, which can also be linked to high-processed diets. In addition, high Body mass Index (over 30) increases the risk of depression or the symptoms by 50-150%. Dietary treatment can be an effective aid in the treatment of depression
Wheat, milk allergy
From the reports of Alan Gettis from the School of Medicine and Surgeons of the University of Colombia that food can affect our mental health. Hypersensitivity to certain nutrients can cause the appearance or aggravation of such mental symptoms as depression or anxiety. Prof. Talal Nsouli, an allergy specialist from Georgetown University's medical department, has found that chronic fatigue can largely be attributed to food allergies, particularly to wheat and milk.
Cholesterol deficiency: There is evidence that cholesterol deficiency can somehow promote the development of depressive conditions in the elderly. Dr. Elisabeth L. Barrett- Connor from the University of San Diego, California, studied a group of men over the age of 70. Those with low cholesterol have a significantly higher rate of depression (16%) than their peers with normal or higher levels (3%). Why can this happen? Dr. Barrett - Connor claims that low cholesterol can reduce serotonin levels in brain tissue, leading to symptoms of depression and aggression.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important in an illness such as depression. Their proper participation in the diet will ensure the proper formation of myelin sheath, regulated flow of neurotransmitters. Low intake of omega-3 acids that can be found in fish, seafood, rapeseed oil, flax seed, nuts or pumpkin seeds.
With the advent of winter in the population living above 33 parallels, there is an increased incidence of depression. This may be related to insufficient vitamin D. It is known that this vitamin is 90% synthesized in the skin by sunlight. There is little food in it, therefore supplementation is recommended.
Dr. Melvin Konner from Emory University notes that new research into brain physiology supports the importance of caffeine as a mild antidepressant and sees no harm in its application if depression is light and doesn't require intensive treatment. Daily consumption of coffee should not exceed 400mg of caffeine equal to 4 cups of espresso. But remember that caffeine is also found in tea, energy drinks, coca cola, chocolate. It can be stated that low doses of caffeine can improve mood and well-being, too much can be harmful.
Folic acid deficiency can aggravate mental disorders such as depression, memory disorders. Dr Young of McGill University has conducted research on the effect of folic acid on mood and noted that most of its patients suffering from depression have deficiencies in this component. In addition, such people showed more drowsiness, memory problems and increased nervousness.
Ensuring proper supply of selenium in people with depression is extremely important. A study of 50 healthy men and women showed that selenium supplementation visibly improved their well-being, had more energy, were less fearful or tired. The study showed that the mood improved visibly with sufficient supply. In addition, the higher the deficiency of this component, the greater was the later improvement. Brazil nuts are an exceptionally good source of selenium. One already provides daily needs.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
In people with depression can also be observed decreased levels of vitamin B12. Together with folic acid deficiency, they are the causative agents of drug-induced depression. Inclusion of cobalamin in combination with folic acid in therapy may contribute to susceptibility to antidepressants. The recommended dose is at the beginning of 1000mg per day and after 2 weeks to 500g per day and after 200mg. The insufficient amount of this vitamin in the diet often also involves high levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is the cofactor cobalamin which allows for the conversion of homocysteine back to methionine.
Serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter that improves mood. Produced from tryptophan or an exogenous amino acid, which we take with food. In order for tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier, insulin is needed. What can be the symptoms of deficiency? For example, depression, aggression, headaches, anxiety, feeling cold, insomnia, and many others. The causes of serotonin deficiency are not enough sun, diabetes, iron deficiency, magnesium, folic acid, alcohol abuse, badly balanced vegan diet, consumption of sweeteners rich foods - aspartame.
Capsaicin contained in chillis can stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. When eating hot foods, we stimulate our nerve endings on the tongue, which causes our body to send a signal to the brain such as burns or trauma, and to relieve it exerts an endorphin-releasing pain..
Both the excessive supply of simple carbohydrates or too little affects our body. When the sugar falls rapidly, the brain does not get the right amount of fuel. Optimal levels of sugar are essential for the production of neurotransmitters including serotonin.
If sweets improve mood, then the safest is dark chocolate. Contains not only large amounts of magnesium but also iron, zinc, selenium and folic acid.
Maybe herbal medicine?
Applying herbal medicine along with proper diet can help with treatment. It is important to ask the pharmacist or doctor if the product does not react with prescribed medications and ask for dosage. Products that can help: Bacopa monnieri, St John's wort, saffron, ashwaghanda, adaptogens
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