Depression is like a slow poison that kills a person slowly without anyone noticing. However, it is treatable. Depression is treated with a holistic approach that includes therapy, exercise, and diet. But still, there are some food items that can pull you back in the gloomy world of depression.
In this article, we will tell you about a list of food items that you need to eliminate from the diet if you are feeling depressed or stressed. This measure will help prevent an impending problem.
Foods To Avoid When Fighting Depression
Without having a nutritious diet, it is not possible to cure any disease. Though there can be hundreds of causes for chronic depression, a healthy diet can wash away the effect of depression. You need to be careful with the choice of foods. The below list contains the foods that you must avoid if you have depression:
1. Dairy Products
Some studies indicate that the protein casein, found in dairy products, triggers inflammation and depression. Not everyone experiences this effect, but try to give up dairy products for a month and watch how you feel. Replenish calcium with spinach, oranges, apricots, and broccoli.
However, this does not mean that you have to completely abandon these healthy products from your life. As mentioned earlier, this effect is visible only to some people. You can eat dairy products in a moderate amount.
2. White Sugar
Sugar can impart short-term feelings of joy and happiness, but these feelings are deceiving. Recent studies show that when the blood glucose levels rise, the brain gets forced to work at a sub-optimal level.
Excess sugar in the body reduces protein production, which stimulates the growth of neurons and synapses. This is fraught not only with the occurrence of depression but also with the appearance of other, no less serious diseases.
Everyone knows about the dangers white sugar can bring. But still, not everyone can stay safe from its harmful effect. You have to throw all sugar into the trash and focus on your well-being.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners cannot replace harmful white sugar, as they also negatively affect our mood. In particular, aspartame reduces sensitivity. When serotonin gets blocked in the brain, headaches, insomnia, and mental instability appear.
You have to get rid of food containing artificial sweeteners. If you can’t imagine your life without sweets, try honey. It does not pose any negative consequences in the future.
4. Fast Food
In a moment of depressive disorder, cooking fresh and healthy food is the last thing you worry about. And in this situation, fast food is the best solution to quickly saturate the body without straining. But it is very insidious because regular use can lead to depression and overeating.
It is scientifically proven that people who prefer fast food are 51% more likely to get depression. Try to change your habits and eat healthy, light meals like dried fruits, nuts, avocados, oatmeal.
Alcohol sometimes helps us to relax and forget about pressing problems. But alcohol suppresses the function of the central nervous system, which plays a significant role in the processing of emotions. This way, the next morning after a hectic party, you will feel more depressed than before. And you will rely on alcohol again to suppress your condition.
The desire to feel in a good mood is the basis for addiction and bad habits. Alcohol is not a panacea for depression but only temporarily masks symptoms. Therefore, withdrawing from alcohol is the only option you have. You can do it yourself or get help for alcohol addiction from experts.
6. Foods High In Sodium (Salt)
Too much sodium in the body can disrupt the nervous system, leading to rapid fatigue and depression. Besides, when exposed to large amounts of salt, the immune system creates an optimal environment for the development of depression.
If you are already this problem, then salty food will only exaggerate the problem. But you should not completely give up salt because low levels of salt in the body can also cause depression. Therefore, maintain a healthy balance of salt in your body.
7. Caffeinated Foods
There is no direct link between caffeine and depression. But it is dangerous because it causes sleep disorders. Restful sleep is very important for health, including psychological. Therefore, skip the coffee and caffeinated drinks in the afternoon. But if you are currently drinking too many invigorating drinks, cancel gradually.
Many people even start their day with such drinks; you have to look for a healthy alternative. Probably starting a day with ginger tea is far better than caffeine.
8. Hydrogenated Oil
At its core, depression is a brain disease with physical symptoms. The trans fats in hydrogenated oil clog arteries and limit blood flow to the brain, leading to depression.
An example of such products is baked goods containing margarine and the same fast food. Therefore, you have to refrain from eating such foods.
Whether you are intolerant or not, gluten has an inflammatory effect on the body because it irritates the intestinal wall. This process can lead to the development of depression. Therefore, give up gluten for a while and analyze your condition for a depressed mood.
10. Carbonated Drinks and Fruit Juices
Both of these drinks are stuffed with bad sugar. Soda has nothing useful in its composition; it consists only of dyes and preservatives. Fruit juices are not as bad. They deliver some vitamins to the body with sugar, but they do not contain the necessary fiber for the body—which satisfies the feeling of hunger and prevents overeating.
There are many therapies available to cope with depression. However, their effects might deplete with time. But if you adopt healthy eating and living habits, you can get a permanent solution to your problem. Therefore, you have to refrain from eating the food items mentioned in this article to deal with depression.
*Photos by Anete Lusina