The junk food blues
There is no reason left to be eating fast food. For those of you who always knew that fast food wasn’t healthy but ate it anyway because it made you feel happy, I have some unfortunate news.
Recent studies show that people who regularly eat hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza were a lot more likely to suffer from depression than those who rarely or never ate the stuff. This means that your happy meal might not make you happy.
Actually, the foods you might grab when you feel a little down may contribute to those feelings.
This information might come as an unpleasant surprise to you since we are all used to comfort ourselves with junk food to cheer us up. Who never turned to pizza and ice cream after a bad break up? Who never takes a big bag of chips when they were lonely?
Whether you want to call it “emotional eating” or “eating your feelings” or “medicating with food,” the truth is that many of us use food for reasons besides nourishing our cells.
We celebrate with food, we mourn with food, and we often turn to food when things just aren’t going our way. We have grown very accustomed to using food as an antidote to our emotions.
And we’re not totally misguided here. Fast food and junk food are loaded with sugar and trans fats which really do make a change in your brain. These substances — sugar, transfat, and refined salt— really will make you feel ‘happy’ in a chemical sense. There is evidence showing that sugar has the same effect on your brain as cocaine!
So when you eat fast food, you will get a short rush of false happiness. The same would happen when you would use drugs like heroin or cocaine, which are not really good to manage your emotions either.
Also, sad feelings and hunger are easy to mix up
When you are sad, lonely, angry or frustrated, you will feel this in your gut. You will feel empty and hollow and will need some “filling”.
Feelings of actual hunger can also feel like a big emptiness in your gut. The sensation is often similar.
So when something stressful happens to you, it is hard to distinguish emotions from hunger.
If you are sad and depressed, no amount of hamburgers and fries is going to change that. Feelings need to be processed, not fed. They need to be expressed and heard and processed. Sometimes a bit of professional help will not harm you.
Foods that help you fight depression
Some scientists have suggested that increasing selenium intake might help improve mood and reduce anxiety, which may help make depression more manageable. You can find selenium in Brasil nuts and organ meats and some seafood.
Most people obtain their Vitamin D through sun exposure, but since, during wintertime, you can get a lack of absorbing sunrays, dietary sources and suppletion is also very important.
You can find Vitamin D in Oily fish, dairy products, beef liver, and eggs.
Vitamin D supplements are also available for purchase online.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Eating omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of mood disorders and brain diseases by enhancing brain function and preserving the myelin sheath that protects nerve cells.
You can find Omega-3 in cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel), flaxseeds and chia seeds and walnuts. During wintertime, you can start with our delicious Walnut power bread recipe ;-).
Omega 3 supplements are also available for purchase online.
Vitamins A (beta carotene), C, and E contain substances called antioxidants.
They help remove free radicals (waste products) out of your body.
If the body cannot eliminate enough free radicals, oxidative stress can develop. A number of health problems can result, which may include anxiety and depression. You can find antioxidants in fresh plant-based foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Vitamins B-12 and B-9 (folate, or folic acid) help and maintain the nervous system, including the brain. They may help reduce the risk and symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression. You can find your vitamins B-12 in Eggs, meat, poultry, fish, oysters, and milk
Folate you find in dark leafy veggies, fruit, nuts, some dairy products, meat and poultry, seafood and eggs.
Zinc helps the body perceive taste, but it also boosts the immune system and may influence depression.
You will find zinc in whole grains, oysters, beef, chicken, pork, beans, nuts, and pumpkin seeds or by suppletion.
Protein enables the body to grow and repair, but it may also help people with depression.
The body uses a protein called tryptophan to create serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone.
You can find this substance in tuna, turkey, and chickpeas
Foods such as yogurt and kefir may boost the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Weight management fights depression
Obesity appears to raise the risk of depression.
This increased risk may be due to the hormonal and immunological changes that occur in people with obesity.
A person who is overweight or has obesity may wish to consult their doctor or a dietitian about ways to manage their weight. Avoid consuming alcohol, refined foods and processed oils for optimal brain and physical health. They are low in nutrients and high in calories.
Processed foods, especially those high in sugar and refined carbs, may contribute to a higher risk of depression. When a person eats refined carbs, the body’s energy levels increase rapidly but then crash.
Refined oils trigger inflammation in your body
Your diet may play a big part in depression. following a diet low in processed foods may help to improve symptoms. You should also try to have a 30-minute walk(or exercise) at least 4 times a week, spend time in nature, avoid alcohol or drugs and get enough sleep!
“Mens Sana in Corpore Sano”
- Journal Of Public Health Nutrition
- Medical news today