The old phrase ‘You Are What You Eat’ involves believing that the food you consume controls your health. There is some truth to that expression if you consider it essential to eat fresh foods to feel healthy and be in good physical shape. For that reason alone, a person’s diet directly correlates with how someone can feel daily, whether it is a feeling of sadness or melancholy following a meal or, on the flip side, an uplifting sense of joy.
What you eat has an immediate impact on your brain activity and directly affects your mood regulation. Thus, depending on your daily diet contents, you might succumb to feelings of depression based on the substances you ingest day in and day out.
Your mind, along with your body, is connected and constantly works with one another, trying to maintain some semblance of balance to keep you alive and in pristine health. People often neglect this coexisting link when choosing to eat and drink certain substances during various times in their lives. You must realize that nutrition and mental health go hand in hand when understanding why you feel a certain way after particular meals. Nutrition is vital and plays an essential role in the onset, severity, and duration of depression.
With the proper nourishment, your body and mind will reciprocate by enhancing your overall physical and emotional health in a positive light. It is crucial to examine your previous dietary routines associated with your feelings of despair from said practices to discover a different perspective on your eating habits. Let us look at some of the ways depression might surface in light of someone’s diet.
Specific types of food have particular unhealthy characteristics that can lead to a poor-quality diet if consumed constantly throughout one’s lifetime. If ingested regularly, this type of “sweet tooth” food fare can lead to a feeling of depression and despair in due time. Many forms of junk food, also considered comfort food, contain ingredients that not only can be harmful to your physical well-being but could alter your mood and mind as well. Cutting down on specific sweet treats will help you and your emotions in the long run. According to one study, what we eat matters for every aspect of our health, especially our mental health.
- Refined sugar & simple carbohydrates – Granulated sugar and high-fructose corn syrup can be absorbed quickly into your bloodstream, causing you to have a burst of energy before the expected crash you will feel on the way down. Individuals should consume foods such as candy, donuts, or ice cream minimally to avoid negative feelings down the line. Simple carbohydrates can also spike your blood sugar levels and raise your risk for depression. Be wary of loading up on food such as white bread, cookies, or breakfast cereals and try to make the switch to whole grains.
- Processed foods – Although it might be convenient to open up a can of soup or pasta rather than making it from scratch, processed foods tend to contain unhealthy levels of added sodium, sugar, and fat. The canning process can destroy nutrients by taking away the health benefits. A research study by Stanford University also showed the hormone-disrupting chemical, Bisphenol-A used in many canning methods can cause depression and other unhealthy side effects.
Life In The Fast Lane
If you enjoy a steady diet of fast food regularly, you could be prone to show signs of depression and lethargy with harmful, unhealthy side effects. It may seem nice and easy to pop in the drive-thru of your local fast-food establishment, but if you make a habit of this method to feed your body, you will regret it in the long run. Many of the items on those combo menus, such as french fries or fried chicken, are drenched in hydrogenated oils. Not only will these trans fats clog your arteries, but they will increase your risk of heart disease and depression. According to a study published in Public Health Nutrition, consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51% more likely to develop depression.
Caffeine, Energy, GO, GO, GO!
Everyone can use a little pick-me-up from time, like a cup of coffee or your favorite energy drink, but if you have a habit of consuming these types of substances in large quantities every day, you might have long-term, adverse side effects. Rather than pounding multiple cups of coffee to stay energized and motivated, try to limit yourself to just one cup in the morning. If you feel the need to regularly absorb energy drinks loaded with sugar, caffeine, or ginseng, the after-effects can have devastating results. Researchers in one group found that energy drink consumption changes were positively associated with increased stress scores and, in young adult males, depression, and anxiety.
It is important to incorporate particular foods to enhance or boost your mood into your meal rotation. If you have been feeling down with your current nourishment regimen, a few simple changes can be beneficial in the long run. Adding the right ingredients and food to your diet and eating better will ease your mind with satisfying results.
- Leafy greens – Spinach, broccoli, artichokes, and avocado are rich in B vitamin folate, which helps lower depression levels.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Evidence shows that consuming foods with these types of acids, such as salmon, oysters, or soybeans, helps with brain functioning and lowers the risk of depression.
Your fundamental eating habits can leave a big impression on how you feel following meals and snacks. On the one hand, your appetite might decrease when you feel low, causing you to eat too little and become irritable or emotional, worsening depression. However, on the other hand, you might lack energy and eat whatever is easily accessible and self-medicate with inappropriate amounts of comfort food. It’s crucial to find a healthy balance in your diet to free yourself from the constraints of depression.
If you feel you are suffering from depression caused by your diet or dietary eating patterns, you can receive help from any one of our caring professionals at Pulse TMS. Whether you are experiencing changes in eating or general mood disorders, transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is a highly therapeutic method to treat your depression. TMS typically works in conjunction with therapy and medications. Using electromagnetic pulses, TMS uses magnetic waves to stimulate specific areas of your brain, regulating your mood. Set up an appointment today at (310) 878-4346 to learn more information.