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How Food Affects Your Mood. Defeating Your Depression
anger management and domestic violence control with diet

from Sparkspeople.com

How Food Affects Your Mood

Although the foods you eat cannot treat depression, your diet does have significant effects on your mood, energy levels, mental health, and your ability to cope with stress. If you suffer from depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), certain dietary changes can help you get well when combined with a treatment program outlined by your health care provider.

  • Structure your meals. Eat at approximately the same times each day and don't skip meals. Enjoy three well-balanced meals and plan snacks between meals.
  • Eat quality nutrients. Try incorporating more whole foods, fruits and veggies, and healthy fats.
  • Consume plenty of calories. Eating less than 1,000 calories per day reduces the amount of serotonin in the brain, which increases symptoms of depression and its chances of recurring.
  • Go for omega-3s. These fatty acids can help with depression, by affecting cell signals in the brain. Foods rich in omega-3s include salmon, sardines, mackerel, soybeans, walnuts, ground flaxseed and more.
  • Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine acts as a stimulant, making you feel anxious and interfering with sleep patterns. Consume no more than 200- 300 milligrams daily.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. They interact with medications and addictive or abusive behaviors can prevent you from a full recovery.
  • Eat plenty of carbs. They increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, improving mood and decreasing symptoms of depression. Aim for at least 130 grams of carbohydrates from foods like whole grains, fruits and veggies each day.

Depression is difficult for anyone who lives with it. It can sap your motivation to care for yourself, eat well, and exercise--the very things that can help you feel better. While dietary changes alone aren't a surefire way to prevent or treat depression, they can help you feel better when combined with the treatment options that your health care provider recommends.


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