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Diet and Depression

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Many events in life can cause depression such as grief, breakups, trauma, money worries, unemployment and of course, biochemical imbalances. One important item we leave out when talking about depression is Food. More and more research is being done that shows a direct correlation between diet and depression. Could it be that some forms of depression is simply a food allergy?

A candy bar will not make you suicidal, and Dunkin' Donuts won't send you spiraling in a downward depression, unless you do these types of food daily. A donut taste good and we feel energy after eating it however, the sugar causes blood glucose levels to go way down which disrupts moods and can be linked to sleep disorders. Over indulging in sugar can create depression.

Another food that creates depression is artificial sweeteners. We all hear about how bad they are for our health, but our mental health suffers as well. This is because artificial sweeteners can block the production of the neurotransmitters, in particular serotonin which can create mood swings and insomnia. It would be best to find a natural sweetener. Some people reach for Agave as an alternative; however, one must remember that the excess fructose in agave is so high that it actually causes mood instability. Maple syrup and Stevia tend to be good alternatives.

Studies continue to show that foods create depression. According to the October 2013 study in the journal Brain, foods such as pasta, white rice and bagels have been linked to depression. The study also stated that people who drink soft drinks are more prone to depression as well. In yet another study from the Public Health Nutrition, people who eat fast food are 51% more prone to suffer from depression than those who do not indulge.

Not all is lost and you do not have to starve to avoid depression. A diet with fruits, vegetables and nuts can be very helpful in treating your depression. Foods like walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and wild salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent and treat depression. If you live in Tucson Sprouts is a wonderful place to get these products. Foods like turkey, chicken and lean meats can be helpful as well.

Dark chocolate is a great mood-boosting food. That is because the body turns it into serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that enhances mood. In Tucson, Trader Joe's has a great variety of dark chocolate and for a fair price.

Some people tend to skip meals; this is not wise as it can make you more irritable and depressed. Your blood sugar drops, as does your mood. Eating 3 good size meals and three healthy snacks can be the very thing you need to do to treat your depression. We are what we eat and diet and depression go hand in hand. So if you are depressed, and you want to take a more holistic approach to your depression start with what you are or are not eating, as there is a direct link to diet and depression.



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