Eating the right food can help beat depression effectively during difficult times, say nutritionists.
Troubles linked to personal health, family situation, financial condition, and any other issue which might trigger despair during Covid-19 pandemic is likely to result in causing mental depression among those facing these situations. The common belief is that people when depressed tend to consume food in excess.
However, nutritionists say eating the right food will also help people overcome depression. A Lancet report recently indicated that more and more people are suffering from depression related problems due to the after-effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
Commenting on linkage between food and depression, Dr N. Malleshwari, Chief Dietician & Nutritionist, Gleneagles Global Hospital said: “Poor food choices and selection of foods might contribute to deficiency of the nutrients which actually can result in depression. Some amino acids like tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine, and phenylalanine are often helpful in treating many mild disorders including depression.”
Mental depression is a serious problem that affects people around the world, and in many, this could be a life changing occurrence.
“While those who accept they are depressed, seek medical attention or counselling to overcome the condition, the best means to beat depression is to bring about lifestyle changes and start consuming a healthy diet. While medicines or counselling provide temporary relief, eating right food and bringing in positive lifestyle changes will help conquer the problem forever. Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) elicit anti-depressant effects among humans and are very important to be included in diet,” said Malleshwari.
“Human bodies normally produce molecules which are called free radicals which could lead to cell damage resulting in quick ageing and cause other problems. Consuming antioxidants-rich foods and vitamins-rich fruits and vegetables will have a positive impact on the brain and certainly lessen the destructive effects of free radicals. Foods like carrots, pumpkin, spinach, oranges, tomato, nuts and seeds, will be of great help,” said Dr Arun Kumar, Chief Dietitian, SLG Hospitals.
Swetha, HoD – Nutrition, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital believes that eating small portions of proteins several times in a day will help boost energy in the human body and will clear the mind.
“Protein-rich tuna fish, turkey, chicken have amino acids which help the human body stay alert. Beans, peas, milk, soya, yogurt too are a good source of healthy proteins. People who are suffering from depression must ensure they do not consume alcohol, or smoke, and even cut down on caffeine intake to overcome the problem.”
Overweight or obese people are more likely to suffer from depression because excess body weight will impact immune system and bring hormonal changes among both men and women. Obese individuals must immediately work on cutting down weight if they intend to overcome depression, and healthy food habits is first step in that direction.
Many people who are depressed also have problems with alcohol or drugs; and these not only can interfere with mood, sleep, and motivation, they can also reduce the effectiveness of depression medications.