Smile with every morsel
Feeling sad, depressed or low are all normal human reactions to life’s struggles, losses and other issues. However, women are more gullible to depression compared to men due to their biochemical make up. Depression can be dealt with by rectifying one’s nutritional deficiencies. Here’s how:
1 Eat smart carbohydrates:
The production of serotonin and tryptophan — chemicals associated with well-being — are triggered by carbohydrate-rich diets. Have fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fibre-rich foods, which raise the blood sugar gradually and have a lasting effect on the brain.
2 Consume ample proteins and amino acids:
When the diet lacks amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, production of dopamine and serotonin, associated with a good mood, get suppressed. A good balance of these brain chemicals is ensured by combining protein-rich foods such as dairy products, fish, eggs and beans, with carbohydrate-rich foods.
3 Include omega fatty acids in your diet:
The membranes of the brain cells contain a high concentration of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Supplement your diet with walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil and seafood such as tuna and salmon, to keep your brain membranes healthy.
4 Energise with B-complex vitamins:
B-complex vitamins affect energy supply to the brain, and hence work wonders for people with anxiety and depression. Supplements of vitamin B12 and folate also enhance the effect of antidepressants.
5 Select selenium-rich foods:
Selenium supplementation improves mood, and lowers anxiety levels. You can incorporate selenium in your diet through beans, legumes, lean meats, nuts, etc.
6 Get plenty of Vitamin D:
Vitamin D improves the levels of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. Get it simply by stepping out in the morning sunshine.
7 Get enough Zinc:
Zinc improves the effectiveness of antidepressants. Have pumpkin seeds, poultry, lean meat and fish.
8 Treat yourself to chocolate:
Dark chocolate can lift your spirits, as it raises the level of feel-good hormones in the body. The daily recommended dose is 30gm.
9 Watch your lifestyle:
Cut down on the intake of caffeinated beverages, alcohol and drugs to improve your sleep. Keep a check on your weight