New Delhi: A lack of adequate nutrients is often associated with stunted physical growth or weakened immunity. But if you don’t get a diet that contains the right amount of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and healthy fats, it can also worsen your depression. According to a study published in the Public Health Nutrition Journal, a nutritious diet is associated with a significantly lower risk of depressive symptoms.
“The distinct relationship between your diet and your emotions stems from the close connection between your brain and your digestive system, which is often called the second brain,” Dr. Siddant Bhargava, a fitness and nutrition scientist told the Hindustan Times.
He further explained, “Your digestive system is home to billions of microbes that influence the manufacture of neurotransmitters that transmit messages from the gut to the brain. Consuming healthy foods encourages the growth of good bacteria, which in turn positively influences the production of these chemicals. When the production of these chemicals is The neurotransmitter is in good shape, your brain tends to receive these constructive messages loud and clear, and your emotions bring them back. When you switch to a diet of healthy food, you set yourself up for fewer mood swings, a happier general outlook, and an improved ability to focus.”
Diet changes can help improve your mood. Here are some food habits to follow for better mental health.
Caffeine can disrupt your sleep pattern, cause stomach irritation and make you restless. Excessive caffeine intake can also lead to dehydration. It is recommended to limit the consumption of caffeine to reduce the chances of developing mood disorders.
Eat foods rich in selenium
A Texas Tech University study showed that selenium supplementation – 200 micrograms daily for seven weeks – was associated with improving mild depressive symptoms by reducing inflammation. Food items such as beans, legumes, nuts, fish, eggs, beef, turkey and chicken are rich sources of selenium.
Sugary food items give you an instant spike in blood sugar levels — which can temporarily improve your mood — followed by a crash. Which can eventually leave you feeling miserable and exhausted.
Eat foods rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids
Foods rich in vitamin D and omega-3s are associated with a reduced risk of depression. They have nerve-protective compounds like folic acid, melatonin, vitamin E and antioxidants that help the brain build proper nerve connections. Walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, fish and red meat are good sources of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Don’t follow extreme diet trends
A person suffering from depression and anxiety can worsen their condition if they remain hungry for an extended period of time because our body needs fuel to function – which food provides. In his absence, one can feel tired and in a bad mood.