by Jessica Dolores, Natural News:
The sun is out. The birds are singing. The flowers are blooming. So you can’t explain why you’re feeling low. Something just isn’t right.
It could be the food you’re eating. May Simpkin, a leading nutritionist in the United Kingdom, says people who consume a lot of processed foods and sugar are more prone to depression. which affects an estimated 350 million people around the world. Simpkin herself has seen this for herself in the course of her work. She has seen how diet deficiencies lead to mood swings and mental imbalance.
The brain works 24/7, she says. So this key organ in controlling moods need the proper nutrients to function well.
Simpkin’s statement is supported by a report from the Mental Health Foundation which said that mental health problems go hand-in-hand with an unhealthy diet. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that consuming lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole grains reduced the risk of depression.
This only means one thing. We can help prevent depression by making some dietary changes that will lift our mood and keep us from running to the nearest psychologist’s office.
Simpkin suggests the following dietary musts.
Protein — Serotonin and dopamine, substances that make us feel good, are made up of amino acids or proteins. The body can manufacture some amino acids, some of which are more essential than others. Other amino acids must come from the food we eat. This is why we need adequate amounts of food that produce the feel-good substances. These include meat, chicken, fish, quinoa, beans, and pulses.
B vitamins — Chemical processes that occur in the body often need help from B vitamins, which converts amino acids into feel-good neurotransmitters. Food items rich in vitamin B include whole grains, spinach, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, salmon, tofu, and pecan nuts.
Healthy fat — Oily fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel as well as avocado and walnuts are examples of foods rich in healthy fat.
Fiber — About 95 percent of serotonin is produced in the gut or gastrointestinal tract. Gut flora play a key role in keeping your digestive tract healthy. Make sure you have a healthy gut by consuming lots of fiber that promotes good bacteria. Fiber also reduces sugar, which feed on bad bacteria and promotes inflammation. Fermented foods like kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and pickles are sources of good bacteria. You may also consider a good probiotic that promotes a healthy digestive tract and strengthens the immune system.
Complex carbohydrates — Eat more whole grains, sweet potato, and starchy greens like carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash, along with protein sources like fish, chicken, eggs, or quinoa.