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Does your diet make you feel blue?

by learningdiscoveries on March 31, 2015

There are many factors that link to depression, but one of the main causes of depression that shouldn’t be neglected is diet. There is an inextricable link between the brain and gastrointestinal tract. A healthy gut is a healthy brain, and vice versa.

When the diet of patients suffering from depression is observed, a significant finding is the lack of sufficient nutrients. Food choices that are not rich in important nutrients may lead to depression.

Foods That Boost the Mood

The easiest and safest way to restore the balance of body and mind is adding the right nutrients to your diet.

10 nutrients needed for mood balance and anti depression are:

Amino Acids

Amino acids are building blocks. They help the brain work properly. With insufficient amounts of amino acids, you may begin to feel sad, unfocused, dull and inactive. Make sure enough protein-rich red meat, seeds, beans and nuts are in your diet.

B Complex Vitamins

A study focusing on the diet of older women observed that more than a quarter of older women suffering from severe had insufficient B complex vitamins. B complex vitamins are found in red and white meat, seafood, eggs, and milk. This study concluded that B complex vitamins are more crucial to our mental health than previously realised.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D intake decreases during autumn and winter months when there is not enough sunlight. It is suggested that an average adult needs 600 IUs of vitamin D per day. However, for the best mental health, 5,000-10,000 IU of vitamin D per day is recommended.

Folate

Without sufficient folate level antidepressants can be less effective. Adults should get at least 400 mcg daily by adding dark green vegetables, citrus, and beans to their diet.

Iodine and Selenium

Iodine and Selenium are crucial trace elements for the function of the thyroid. This is a small gland that deals with the management and monitoring of other glands, affecting almost the entire system of your body. When thyroid function is compromised, symptoms of depression surface.

Iron

Iron deficiency can cause symptoms that are similar to depression, such as exhaustion, failure to focus, and annoyance. It’s important to make sure you are consuming an adequate amount of iron each day.

Magnesium

Magnesium is highly effective at fighting against the effects of chronic stress. It’s necessary to consume between 400 and 420 mg per day for men, between 310 and 320 mg per day for women. It is important to watch the amount of salt, caffeine, sugar and alcohol intake as all these substances can inhibit magnesium absorption.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Your body can’t produce Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon, halibut and tuna or nuts like walnuts and flaxseeds. In addition, supplements can be taken to ensure that you get enough for good health of your body and mind.

Zinc

Zinc is another mineral required for many chemical reactions in the body. Not only does it help with digestion, it also enhances the function of the immune system, assists with DNA production and improves memory and cognition.

Other Ways To Boost The Mood

Besides adding important nutrients to your diet, there are other ways to help maintaining a well-balance mood, such as keeping an eye on blood sugar levels, avoiding drugs, alcohol and caffeine, and adding exercise to your routine. Neurofeedback is a powerful, non-toxic, drug-free intervention for addressing depression, anxiety and mood disorders and can be very beneficial for chronic unremitting depression when used in conjunction with dietary and lifestyle changes.

For more information about assessments for depression, anxiety and associated mood disorders or natural interventions to sustain a healthy body and mind, please contact us on (02) 9637 9998 during business hours.

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Rosemary Boon

Registered Psychologist

M.A. (Psych),
Grad. Dip. Ed. Studies (Sch. Counsel),
Grad Dip. Ed. B Sc, Dip. Nut.
MAPS, AACNEM, ATMS, ISNR, ANSA.

Provider No. 2582331F ATMS No. 20831
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