Food as a weapon against depression
Depression affects children to the elderly
Depression is one of the disorders that is affecting people today, from children to the elderly, characterized by the presence of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt, lack of self-esteem, sleep or Appetite, feeling tired and lack of concentration.
Some time ago it was thought that it was due to a merely emotional situation, but thanks to several investigations could be determined that its origin can be from environmental factors to genetic factors.
Serotonin is the key
Most cases can be naturally prevented and treated with good nutrition.
The key is the level of serotonin that is secreting the body. This substance is a transmitter of the nervous system that helps the communication between neurons, when there are low levels of serotonin we fall in situations of stress, fatigue and depression.
We must help stimulate their production by consuming amino acids, vitamins and minerals that improve their production.
Such is the case of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that promotes the release of serotonin, foods rich in tryptophan act as natural antidepressants, producing an increase of serotonin without the need for psychotropic drugs.
It is abundantly found in: dairy protein, meats, peanuts, legumes, nuts, sunflower seeds, squash, soy and tofu.
B vitamins, on the other hand, influence brain function and regulation of the nervous system, excessive consumption of sweet foods (sugar, bakery, pastry, junk food) can reduce vitamin B1 reserves.
Foods rich in these B vitamins are: fish, dairy, legumes, meats, green leafy vegetables, pistachios, garlic, liver, wheat bran, brown rice and egg.
Minerals are indispensable for the correct functioning of the nervous system, mainly:
Magnesium: Helps balance serotonin levels.
Their scarcity in the body due to poor nutrition decreases serotonin levels, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
Foods rich in magnesium are mainly: nuts, spinach and brown rice.
Zinc: It is a key piece in the neurotransmission of the nervous system.
Its deficiency may be associated with depression, asthenia and other pathologies.
Its consumption is highly recommended when depression is related to the onset of menopause, since it has the ability to regulate hormonal changes.
Foods rich in zinc: meat, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame, wheat germ, whole grains, seafood and fish.
Iron: It is used by brain cells for proper functioning, equally involved in the function and synthesis of neurotransmitters.
Its deficiency is related to less capacity of concentration, attention, memory and less academic or labor performance.
Foods rich in iron are: legumes, meats, leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and shellfish.
Natural stimulants are substances that help activate the nervous system reducing the risk of depression, in addition to having an antioxidant action on the cells.
One of the most popular is caffeine.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. Michel Lucas of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues found that the risk of depression in women decreases with increased caffeine consumption.
On the other hand the theobromine contained in the chocolate improves the production of serotonin, helping to generate a feeling of well-being and improve the mood.
So treat yourself without guilt.
It is important to note that not only foods contain these substances.
We can also find nutrients that help us improve our mood and combat depression in dietary supplements.
These are the best alternative to supplement our diet and regulate our nervous system, without the need to use psychotropic drugs.
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