ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — About 17 million adults in the U.S. suffer with depression. It is well known that food plays a major role in our physical health, but it can also play a role in our mental health. Ivanhoe reports on which foods can help and hurt your mental health.
About one in five Americans will experience at least one bout of depression at some point in their life. But …
“There’s certain foods that have been shown to be good for brain health and potentially affect mood,” shared Tara Collingwood, at registered dietician at Diet Diva.
Such as fish.
“Omega-3 fatty acids that are in fish could help to protect our brain,” Collingwood continued.
In fact, a study out of Spain found those who ate a Mediterranean diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, protein-rich legumes, and fatty fish and olive oil were 50 percent less likely to develop depression. Other foods that can boost your mood include walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, probiotics such as kombucha and kimchi, also lean protein such as chicken and turkey can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Some foods to avoid include processed foods, alcohol, and sugar.
“If you do a lot of sugar, you can get a sugar rush and then maybe a sugar crash,” stated Collingwood.
A study out of London found men who had 67 or more grams of sugar a day, which is just under two cans of coke, were 23 percent more likely to develop depression over a five-year period. This is giving you some food for thought for better mental health.
For coffee lovers, a Harvard study found that two to three cups of coffee a day was a mood booster and was linked to lower risk of suicide.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.
FOODS TO BOOST YOUR MOOD
BACKGROUND: Depression is a mood disorder that makes you feel a constant sadness or lack of interest in life. It’s a normal reaction to loss or life’s challenges. But when intense sadness including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless lasts for an extended period and keeps you from living your life, it may be something more like clinical depression, which is a treatable medical condition. Depression affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older each year and is more prevalent in women than men. Some symptoms are common, but not everyone with depression will have the same ones. How severe they are, how often they happen, and how long they last can vary. Symptoms may also happen in patterns. It’s not uncommon for people with depression to have physical signs of the condition that include joint pain, back pain, digestive problems, sleep trouble, and appetite changes.
FOODS THAT WORSEN DEPRESSION: Depression can lead to overeating (or lack of eating) and inactivity, which further impacts mood. When we focus on healthy sleep habits, nutritious eating, and daily exercise, we can boost our mood. It helps to look at daily eating habits. One study of women with no history of depression, substance abuse, or other forms of mental illness found that eating refined carbohydrates spiked blood sugar levels and increased the risk of depression. The good news here is the same study also found that a diet rich in whole grains and produce actually lowers the risk of depression. A diet high in sugar can increase inflammation throughout the body and the brain, and recent research links brain inflammation to a higher risk of depression. A British study of more than 3,000 people found that those who ate the most processed foods faced an increased rate of depression. And the association between fatty acid intake or the use of culinary fats and depression in a Mediterranean population found a detrimental link between trans fatty acid intake and risk for depression.
NEW GENE RESEARCH: New research has found that having a particular personality type can make you more at risk of developing depression. The most recent study, conducted by Western Sydney University, has found that eating a healthy diet significantly reduces symptoms of both depression and anxiety for women, but not men. Another study analyzed the DNA of 800,000 people, of which 250,000 were depressed, and found 87 genetic changes and 102 genes associated with depression. “We can now use this genetic information to look at the relationship between depression to other behaviors, traits and disorders such as neuroticism, anxiety, schizophrenia and smoking,” said Maciej Trzaskowski, MD from The University of Queensland, Australia. He believes the study is a breakthrough in depression research, which has evolved little in the past 50 years. Professor of Psychiatry at Deakin University Michael Berk, PhD, feels both studies are important, and that research should now find out what the genes do; how they interact with each other; and how they interact with the other risk factors involved in depression.
* For More Information, Contact:
Tara Collingwood, Registered Dietician
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