QUEZON City, Philippines (March 27) – Experiencing ups and the downs is normal in life. It’s the experiences – both the good and the bad – that shape how we perceive the members of our society and culture.
Yet for some individuals, there is the constant feeling of always being “down.”This is what is commonly known as depression.
Depression is a mental ailment that causes a person to be constantly sad. It is usually fought with the use of medication. As a result, most depressed people develop the habit of “pill-popping.”
The lack of specific chemicals in the body is not the only factor that contributes to the onset of depression. Depression can actually also be traced back to one’s traumatic experiences, hormonal imbalances. It can also be the result of faulty mood regulation done by the brain, and even medication.
Fortunately, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. Although these suggestions seems very simple, they have been proven scientifically effective in helping those who suffer from depression.
Food is an important part of society since it provides as a vehicle of interaction for people, acts as a means of experiencing other cultures, and provides comfort to our bodies.
Whenever someone eats, the body releases a hormone called dopamine, which activates the pleasure receptors in the brain. Depending on the quality of the food, the “high” experienced by the body due to the release of dopamine becomes very addicting. Food that is poor in essential nutrients and vitamins, and is high in fat, for example, causes a huge spike in dopamine levels of the body, which can cause a euphoric state. After only a short amount of time, the low that follows after such a high state can make the person very depressed. The body then craves for hese unhealthy foods again so it can attain that “high” again. It is essential then that a person eat high-quality food.
Hippocrates, who is considered the Father of Modern Medicine, was quoted as saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” That is why the recommended diet of large amounts of nutrient-dense food is not a new thing. Here are some suggested foods to help a person with depression.
- Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds are fortified with essential amino acids that aid in optimal brain function and help lift any foggy mentality usually accompanied by depression. They are also rich in Omega 3, which have also been proven to helping combat depression and anxiety.
- Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes have a high amount of L-tryptophan, which is another amino acid that has been proven to help prevent depression. Sweet potatoes also help lower abnormally high blood pressure, which can be caused by anxiety, a symptom of depression.
Avocados are rich in Monounsaturated Fats and Folate, a type of B Vitamin, that promotes healthy brain function and helps people deal with stress and anxiety.
Broccoli, although seemingly simple and plain, is also packed with Vitamin B6, protein and calcium which act as muscle relaxants, thus promoting a happy and a positive mood.
Not only are walnuts high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and magnesium. They are also rich in healthy cholesterol that can lead to a healthy and fully functional heart that reduces inflammation of the brain if consumed. This thus promotes happier moods. Walnuts can also induce the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that helps induce sleep, allowing a depressed person to combat insomnia usually associated with depression.
(written by Francis Albuen, edited by Jay Paul Carlos, additional research by Vince Alvin Villarin)