Fat is fine
Fat is essential for a various reason. Include the right fat in the diet. The study shows population eats food low in omega-3-fatty acid is much likely to suffer from depression. Add nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews), seeds (pumpkin seed, flax seed, sesame seed, melon seed, etc), kachi ghani/ cold pressed oil, ghee, homemade butter in a diet.
Avoid refined oil at all cost. Regular use of refined oil creates inflammation and in turn many other health hazards. You will be shocked to know, all outside commercial foods (packaged or unpacked) are made with refined oil.
So choose your oil wisely and consume in moderation.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals play a major role during depression specifically for their antioxidant properties. Please note products fortified with vitamin A or D does no good to your body. So look for the natural sources. Vitamins like A (beta carotene), B complex (especially niacin, folate, and B12), C, D, and E are essential in the daily diet. Among minerals- zinc, magnesium, manganese, etc. have been found to play a major role in producing neurotransmitters thus treating as well as preventing depression.
No, don’t get confused. You don’t need to have multivitamin-mineral tablets to get them. Just be mindful to consume plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits on a daily basis. Go by the season and local availability to cut down the unnecessary pesticide load on your body. Be careful to wash them properly before consuming. Drink a glass of lemon juice or 1-2 pieces of amla ( Indian gooseberry) or a guava every day. If it is summer do not abstain yourself from eating a mango. Have all possible vegetables – pumpkin, gourd, tomato, carrot, beetroot, green leafy vegetables as much as possible.
Special attention – Fermented food
Fermented foods are unavoidable for ensuring your gut health
. No, you don’t have to spend on probiotics. Start having kanji, idli, overnight soaked rice (panta bhat), curd, homemade pickle (sun-dried), etc to your daily diet. Don’t overdo it. Just make sure every day you are having any one of the fermented food as per your tradition.
Exercise, sleep, and depression
In most cases, depression is considered a lifestyle disorder. So not the only diet, you have to concentrate on increasing your physical activity and engage yourself in some kind of exercise
. It is proved that activity and exercise help to improve mood.
is another crucial factor in today’s lifestyle. Sleep helps to reset the hormonal balance and detoxify your body. Research suggests most of the lifestyle disorders are triggered by lack of sleep.
Try to get good sleep. It is non-negotiable and a must.
You are in pain. A pain which nobody can see. Try to help yourself. Start eating well. Diet for depression is not that difficult. It’s not a fad or fancy diet. All you need is a simple, local, variety of homemade food as per season. Yes, do focus on each word. Each word will guide you to pick the right food. Stick to natural food as much as possible. Eat moderate in amount but concentrate on the quality of food. Have fresh fruits and vegetables along with nut and seeds. Stop eating outside food at all cost. Cut down all refined ingredients – refined sugar, flour, salt, oil. Enjoy homemade food. Even homemade sweets also. Satisfy all your craving by making a homemade version.
Diet in depression is not like magic that will change the way you feel overnight. But it has the power to bring gradual improvement. Get involved in physical activity and exercise. Start drinking enough water. Try to have a deep sleep. Eat good food in moderation. Continue with need-based medication and regular counseling as a part of your depression treatment. You will be fine soon. We are waiting to see you stand again.