Smile with ev­ery morsel

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Dr Anjali Mukerjee, nu­tri­tion­ist

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

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