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Defeating Depression with Diet

The concluding weeks of the troubling year when many across the world are experiencing the downside of a terrible pandemic that has not only been claiming loves and livelihood but has thrown life as we knew it out of the year. 

All the news channel whirligig just talking about depression and newspaper headlines just trampled on the issue on suicide and depression. 

The way people understand food and mental health is still perplexing. Nutritional neuroscience has been binding its path that nutritional factors are interlinked with the human cognition, behaviour and emotions. 

Depression has been rooted emotionally or biochemically and on the contrary, nutrition plays a tangential role in the severity and duration of depression. Some factors that precede to depression are the change in the food patterns that include appetite, skipping meals and a dominant desire for sweet food.

Glancing on the dietary patterns of the Asian and American countries reflects that they are deficient in many essential nutrients like vitamin, mineral and omega 3. Studies have indicated that daily supplementation of these vital nutrients and reduce the symptoms. 

No need to reveal the story about the changing trend of food habit. From the homemade to processed food. From healthy food to tasty unhealthy food. A decade has passed, but the food transitions have impacted the people. A report tells that people are more turning towards processed foods and ready to cook foods. Well, this has become the cradle to cause depression and high-stress scores. 

For a comprehensive approach towards depression, many psychiatrists are approaching complementary nutritional therapy. An interesting observation was made and looked upon on the diet of depressed people, it was seen that their nutrition is far from adequate. The poor food choices and selecting foods has unleashed contribution to depression. 

Foods that should be included and avoided to defeat depression:

Eat the Rainbow

Paint your plate with a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables, they help to fight against free radicals and plays a role as an antioxidant. 


It is known as the “white poison “, with no nutrients. It has a harmful effect, where it increases the blood sugar levels in the blood and that turns increase insulin levels and that increase the levels of cortisol. It also causes inflammation to gut. It is very addictive that it serves as short term rewards. It starves and damages the brain.

Sugar in the soft drinks contains aspartame that blocks the production of serotonin. It also changes the gut environment. 

Tip: Choose the natural source like apricot, figs, dates for sweet preparation. Sugar along with fibre show be included like fruits. 

Simple Carbs

Food products that are made from processed foods like cookies, cakes etc. It increases the level of cortisol and dopamine. It causes an imbalance in hormones and affects the mood. 

Tip: choose the good quality of carbs that are less processed like whole-grain chapati, brown rice, red rice etc.


It is a glue-like substance present in some food product like wheat, barley, rice etc. It should be avoided as it causes inflammation, it sticks with the gut and irritates the gut. Increase the level of cortisol (stress hormone) and blocks endorphins (the feel-good hormone). It causes the malabsorption of nutrients and causes changes in the gut biome.

Tip: Choose a variety of millet like ragi, bajra, jowar, bhagar etc. Or choose pseudocereals like buckwheat, quinoa, oats etc.


Every drop of oil counts in a diet that we eat, high intake of oil can block the signalling system of the brain can lead to depression. 

Choose Omega 6> Omega 3, include foods like walnut, flaxseeds, chia seeds. Avoid taking refined oils or trans fat like Dalida oil, it causes inflammation and that increase the level of cortisol. 

Tip: Avoid taking salad dressing like mayonnaise, instead can make nuts and seeds butter like almond butter, tahini, flax seed butter etc.

Eat 1 tbsp/daily of seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds etc. and 3-4 nos. of walnut as it contains good fats.

Milk and Milk Products

Milk contains stress hormones like adrenaline that causes an imbalance in our body.

Milk protein like casein, it utilizes a lot of body energy and that causes inflammation and it also blocks some absorption of protein which produces antioxidants. 

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