As the saying goes, you are what you eat. It's not only true for your physical health, but also for your mental health. As explained by Psychology Today, food is one of the environmental factors (along with smoking and stress) that is so powerful, it can actually change the structure of your genes.
Genes are the body's instruction manual. They contain the coding information to make proteins, which control all functions in the body. You can imagine why you wouldn't want to mess with your genes.
The genes located in the gut engender neurochemicals that affect mood and other neurological functions, according to Psychology Today. Therefore, what you eat is directly related to the chemicals controlling your mood, thoughts, and behaviors. Below you will learn about 3 foods that may lead to or worsen depression and 3 foods that can boost mood and treat depression.
Foods that Cause Depression
Aspartame. You may have heard of this chemical in connection to cancer. That's bad enough. But in case you need any more reason to stay away from foods that use aspartame to artificially sweeten them, like Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Pepsi, Orbit gum, Dannon Activia light and several brands of meal replacements, you should know that according to Psychology Today, aspartame decreases the "happiness hormone" serotonin.
Fried Foods. We know... they're just so good! But according to Psych Central, those few minutes of bliss from popping a few French Fries can have long-lasting side effects of depression resulting from clogged arteries preventing blood flow to the brain.
Deli Meats. It's not just because turkey makes you sleepy (a myth, according to How Stuff Works). It's because deli meats, like butter, contain saturated fats that prevent blood flow to the brain, according to Psych Central.
Foods that Fight Depression
Whole Grains. White rice, pasta, cake, and other carbs are called "comfort food" for a reason. But instead of gorging on simple carbs, WebMD recommends nourishing your mind and body with whole grains and other complex carbs. You can start by switching to whole-grain varieties of your favorite carbs.
Mediterranean Diet. Have you ever wondered why the people in Spain and Greece always look so relaxed? It may have something to do with the sea and sun, but diet is likely to also play a part. According to WebMD, a Mediterranean diet full of folate-rich foods like nuts and dark green vegetables, as well as fish and low-fat dairy products with plenty of vitamin B12 is the key to an outlook as bright as the sun reflecting on the Mediterranean.
Beans. Beans beans, the magical fruit. The truth is, beans, along with lean meat, seafood, nuts, and low-fat dairy, contain the mineral selenium, associated with positive mood, according to WebMD.
Do you suffer from depression? Do you notice a difference in your symptoms depending on your diet? SHARE your story when you post this article to social media!