Cleanse your refrigerator and nourish the shelves with real food. There is a food and mood love/hate revolution going on. Our pantries and shopping trolleys are full, and food is in abundance…but we are starving ourselves of real, quality food. When we eat highly package and processed foods that are void of vitamins and minerals, especially the Bs and magnesium, we are at risk of a depressive disorder.
Get your runners on. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry revealed that people suffering with depression who were not getting adequate results from their antidepressants began adding regular exercise into their daily routine. The results were overwhelming, with sufferers improving dramatically. Regular exercise can regulate our serotonin and norepinephrine much the same way antidepressant drugs can.
Seek out the great ‘calmer.’ Magnesium is known nutritionally as a natural calmer. Digestive problems, high stress and too much alcohol can lead to the a deficiency in this mineral. Sure you can take a magnesium supplement, but Pumpkins seeds, spinach, soy beans, sesame seeds and quinoa all taste much nicer than a tablet!
Kick the sugar habit. Lowering the amount of sugar you have in your diet, can lower the risk of insulin resistance, which has been proven to link to depression, not to mention diabetes. Studies revealed a positive connection between high levels of insulin resistance and severe depressive symptoms even before the occurrence of diabetes. Become a label reader – and remember – just because the label advertising looks healthy, doesn’t mean it is not a sugar shocker!
Moderate the seduction of alcohol. If Friday night entices you into a few glasses of wine, just remember that alcohol can reduce your vitamin B12 levels substantially. Reduced levels of this very important energy vitamin can become a serious risk factor for depression. Excellent sources of foods containing B12 are often animal based foods, which can leave a vegetarian at risk of developing low levels of B12. Foods that contain high levels of B12 are snapper, prawns, sea plants, algae’s, brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast powder and miso.
Practice safe sun. It’s no coincidence that after being outside in the sun, we tend to feel good. Sun helps improve our vitamin D levels naturally and there is an abundance of new scientific research highlighting the benefits of this fat soluble vitamin. Not only does the research reveal that low levels are risk factors for depression and mood disorders, but also that our bone health and immunity status can be improved with small doses of sun exposure.
Omega up. Studies show that those who eat diets high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids (like the Japanese who eat a lot of fish) have a much lower rate of depression. If you are not eating salmon, trout, herring, sardines, anchovies, or mackerel, consider introducing flaxseed and walnuts as regulars in your diet. With all the evidence based research on the benefits of the various Omegas on mental health, many physicians are recommending high quality fish oil to patients.
Article by Michele Chevalley Hedge, Nutritionist and Founder at A Healthy View, international author, mum of three teenagers and often referred to as the ‘modern day nutritionist’ because she knows that when it comes to our health extremes do not work but ‘A Healthy View’ does. The philosophy at A Healthy View is simple – no fads, no extremes, just good health. We see patients around the world from school kids to busy mums and corporate business leaders. We are bringing back the love of food to allow for greater physical and mental wellbeing.