Question by Oprah Winfrey: What are some keys when trying to alleviate moderate depression throught diet and excercise?
I have felt down and I feel that healthy living will help me pick things up again.
I know the whole eat healthy with excercise thing is the main component behind this plan. Are there certain supplements that I should be taking to boost mood? Are certian foods proven to help cope with low mood?
Answer by sprinkles***
hi kelly, diet really helped me through my own depression and anxiety problems so i know all about how important it is to eat properly for good mental health 🙂
first off a B vitamin complex is great for mental health, so ask at you pharmacy or health food shop for a good one & it should give you some help.
the key thing is to eat to keep your blood sugars stable, so things like never skipping a meal (especially breakfast!), not going for long periods without eating, snacking regularly (healthily of course lol) and avoiding sugar and refined carbs (things like white pasta, white bread, pizza, white rice, biscuits/cookies etc.). stable blood sugars are very very important to good mental health.
also avoid irritant foods like sugar, sodas, coffee, anything with caffeine in it (e.g. chocolate and tea), alcohol, junk foods and fast foods – these will all make you feel bad especially if you eat a lot of them.
oils are food for the brain, so eating things like nuts and seeds, eggs and fish are all really great for your mental health – the omega oils you find in these foods really help your body & mind to feel good. you can also take them in supplement form.
complex carbohydrates will also help to keep your blood sugars stable, so things like wholemeal bread/pasta/rice, bran type cereals and also pulses like beans & lentils will all keep you stable and feeling good.
a good breakfast is essential – no sugary cereals or too much coffee, go instead for something like a boiled egg with some wholemeal toast. this will set you up for the day 🙂
there is a great book that you can pick up to read a bit more on this topic, it’s written for people like you and me who may not know much about nutrition: Optimum Nutrition for the Mind by Patrick Holford. he even directly deals with depression and how to help yourself with diet.
i have also written a big post on all the things that helped me through my own problems, and although it’s geared mainly at people who suffer from anxiety the same principles will apply to low mood and depression as it’s all about good mental health: http://www.anxietyforum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4087
if you start now then the chances are you’ll help yourself out of it before you begin to feel worse, it’s a good idea to nip it in the bud. i really hope you’re feeling ok again soon 🙂 xx
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