How to treat depression with foods?

Science has recognized that foods as a powerful tool to help you overcome depression and anxiety. Here are stories of people who have overcome such depression.

The story of a girl overcome depression by changing her eating habits.

When Jane Green was 14, she collapsed on the stage of a dance competition. She could not feel her arms and legs. She cried loudly, her body hot, her breath panting. She completely lost consciousness for about 10 minutes, and when she returned, she saw that her mother was supporting her, and it took another 30 minutes for her heartbeat to stabilize and she could breathe again normally.

Jane has just experienced a panic attack, which is her first but not the last time. Her parents took her to the doctor, they diagnosed her with depression and prescribed her an anti-depressant medication.

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A panic attack is a period of intense anxiety that lasts for a short time, causing intense fear of the body. Such states may include a rapid increase in heart rate, difficulty breathing, dizziness, tremor, and muscle tension. Panic attacks are frequent, unpredictable and often unrelated to any external threat. A panic attack can last from a few minutes to half an hour. However, the subsequent physical and mental effects can last up to several hours.

If left untreated, prolonged panic attacks with frequent frequency can seriously affect your personal life. People may find ways to avoid situations (such as being forced to leave the living area or being alone) that they are afraid of causing panic attacks.

I’ve had a good time, but there are times when it’s really bad, so bad that I don’t want to live anymore. Continuing in and out of the hospital, she also discovered that she had an irregular thyroid development, which was bad for her psychology and depression. By the age of 20, she began to seek medical attention, but they did not help much.

At age 23, after a difficult therapy session with a psychiatrist, they told her that nothing could be done to improve her depressive symptoms. She collapsed beside her friend Autumn Bates. Bates is a nutritionist and she has overcome her anxiety problems by changing her diet. She persuaded Jane to change her diet to see if it made her feel better.

Jane’s current diet is quite cold, but dinner is not so healthy. She eats sugar daily, with candy in the morning and ice cream every night. Bates’s new guide for Jane is no cereal, no dairy, low sugar, good fat, medium protein, and most importantly, lots of green vegetables.

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Jane begins the day with black coffee, eating high-fat nuts (cashews, macadamia, walnuts, almonds). Eat plenty of homemade salmon and meatballs with plenty of greens for dinner, and finally enjoy a piece of dark chocolate for dessert. “The first 3 days, I wanted to die,” Jane said, but after a few days, I felt the energy in my body soaring.

“I didn’t focus on what I couldn’t eat, I focused on how amazing my body stopped feeling, which made me feel better, mentally and emotionally.” Jane also shared: “I have not had a panic attack for months, I have not used antidepressant medication for some time, so this completely comes from changing diet and lifestyle. ”.

How to eat to overcome depression?

There are two ways that changing your diet will improve your mental health: one is to form good habits and the other is to eliminate bad habits. Comments from Anika Knüppel, Ph.D., University of London, UK. The study also found that the two most recommended diets, the Mediterranean Diet, focused on increasing the beneficial fats in the diet and the DASH diet and its variations, focusing on reducing sugar intake.

Mediterranean diet.

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These people have overcome depression by eating, and these are foods they have chosen.

  • Eat a fixed amount of cereals and beans
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Replace red meat with fatty fish, rich in Omega-3
  • Eat more healthy fats, from nuts or vegetable oils like olives
  • Enjoy sweets and light wines on average.

A 2011 study of medical students found that people who increased their omega-3 fatty acid intake reduced anxiety by 20% (although there was no change in depression). Another study in Spain in 2016 found that people who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 50% lower risk of depression than those who didn’t follow the diet.

DASH diet.

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These people have overcome depression by eating, and these are the foods they have chosen.

  • Strictly control the amount of cereal, vegetables, and fruits
  • Supplement protein from meat, fish, and nuts
  • Use low-fat or non-fat milk
  • Limit the amount of saturated fat and alcohol.
  • Remove sugar, sweets and soft drinks from your diet

A 2017 study by Dr. Anika Knüppel analyzed more than 23,000 people who found that people who ate a lot of sugar (about 67g, equivalent to less than 2 cans of Coke) were more likely to be depressed over the next 5 years. compared to those who eat less sugar.

Another study from the Medical Center, Rush University presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology also found that people who follow the DASH regime reduce their risk of developing mental illness, depression within 6 and a half years of normal people.

The link between food and depression.

When we don’t have the biological explanation for depression, there is no clear explanation for changing the diet to improve this psychological condition. But science has also shown that vitamins in the body help the function of enzymes that allow reactions such as serotonin synthesis, which is essential for our happiness.

Meanwhile, too many pathways lead to the decline of a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which is involved in the development of anxiety. sedation and depression. Other research has also shown that gut health affects your psychology. The intestinal microorganisms communicate with the brain and other organs that affect depression and anxiety, and the composition of this microbial system is affected by our diet…

Finally, a healthy diet is a great way to take care of yourself, an important element in cognitive behavioral therapy in psychotherapy. Seeing yourself deserve to be cared for and taken care of yourself, therefore deserving to provide good, nutritious food is a great start.

Wish you always have good health!