Foods That Can Contribute to Depression
Currently there are more than 150 million people that suffer from depression worldwide. Research has found that certain foods may contribute to this. Although people must eat for basic nourishment, some types of foods may give way to more than that in the way of depression.
Diets in the Western hemisphere have experienced a radical change over the years in the types of fats people consume. Fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats normally found in vegetable oils, nuts and fish are beneficial type fats. However healthy fats have been substituted for unhealthy ones like trans fats (artificial fat) and saturated fats found in foods like butter, meats, fast foods and mass produced pastries in the American diet.
Some of the types of foods that can contribute to depression are stimulants, alcohol, simple carbohydrates and processed foods. Stimulants like coffee and energy drinks provide a short lived boost. What goes up must come down and over stimulating the body can result in depression, insomnia and anxiety. Alcohol acts as a depressant in itself and is best to avoid. Too much caffeine has similar effects to that of eating too many sugary foods (like cake, donuts, and cookies) that can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate and a brief sugar high. Feelings of depression and anxiety usually follow. Simple carbohydrates include artificial sweeteners along with added sweeteners like the ones in fruit juices. Some artificial sweeteners may block serotonin production which is a neurotransmitter that helps the body maintain its moods.
Being aware of nutritional triggers and maintaining healthy eating habits can help deter depression. Foods high in nutrients and antioxidants like fruits, vegetables, fish (omega-3 fatty acids) and staying properly hydrated can help as well as exercising regularly.
Lee, Stephanie. “Foods to Avoid to Improve my Depression/Anxiety NHS.” Livestrong.com. 20 Jun. 2011.
Wood-Moen, Robin. “Foods That Trigger Depression.” Livestrong.com. 6 Jan. 2011. 14 Nov. 2013.
Eating Bad Food Linked to Depression. News.Discovery.com. 27 Jan. 2011. 13 Nov. 2013.