The impact of depression on all aspects of your life can be very debilitating. It often requires a holistic approach to combating the condition in order to put your mind straight and your life back on track.
When you get treatment for depression, there are also some other lifestyle changes that can improve your mental health and help you to feel better about yourself as quickly as possible.
One of these changes that can have a noticeable impact on your mood is when you make adjustments to your diet.
Let’s take a look at how a healthy diet can boost your mood and help reduce the symptoms of depression.
Look after your gut to look after your brain
Some studies have revealed that the gut microbiome plays an influential part in how your brain functions.
When you are able to alter levels of the neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which is largely influenced by gut bacteria, you also create a positive connection that can improve your mental health.
The science might be complex, but the message from these studies is that if you improve your gut health there is also a reasonable chance you will improve your mental health at the same time.
What you eat influences your brain health
The link between depression and diet is something that continues to be studied closely. It has already been demonstrated that a Mediterranean diet helps lower the risk of depression.
A diet that largely consists of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil is far more likely to deliver a good gut health profile compared to a diet that features greater amounts of red meat, sugary snacks, and dairy products that are high in fat.
Try to avoid processed foods
Scientific studies are ongoing when it comes to truly learning how a poor diet can increase inflammation. What they already know is that inflammation has been identified as one of the risk factors associated with depression.
What we do know is that highly processed foods tend to raise inflammation levels. Therefore, too much processed food in your diet is going to potentially have an adverse impact on your mental health.
When you don’t get a good balance of nutrient-dense foods this can create a deficiency in nutrients. This directly leads to the possibility of suffering from increased inflammation.
If you are able to introduce more fruit and vegetables into your diet and make a concerted effort to cut out your consumption of processed foods you could witness an improvement in your depression symptoms.
Changing your diet so that you consume more healthy foods and nutrients should give you a reasonable expectation of improving your depression symptoms. It is not a change that will make all the difference on its own but when you combine a healthy diet with other initiatives such as medication and counseling you will ensure that your mind and body are pulling in the same direction.
What changes can you make to your lifestyle and diet to combat the symptoms of depression?