Tuesday, May 18

What foods increase depression and anxiety


What we eat not only directly influences our state of health, it is key to a healthy body weight and the prevention of diseases. However also it is closely related to mental health and mood. In such a way that our emotions have a lot to do with what we eat, however it is a much deeper and complex issue. On many occasions we are not aware of how what we eat drastically alters our mental health.

It is proven by science: some foods of recurrent consumption, worsen anxiety and depression. The truth is that even the simplest choices influence and can make a difference. SAccording to the American Anxiety and Depression Association, 18% of the population suffers from some type of anxiety disorder and 6.7% of the US population over the age of 18 has been diagnosed with clinical depression. Therefore, it is about a public health problem that has been increasing over the years, especially in 2020 derived from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it is not necessary to have an official diagnosis, to know that we can all feel anxious and depressed. The good news is that with simple diet and lifestyle adjustments, the good results are strong and long-term. That is why diet plays a fundamental role and being familiar with foods that have a negative impact on mood. It’s a great way to start!

1. Sugar

One of the greatest dietary recommendations to promote good health is to avoid excessive sugar consumption. While indulging in an occasional treat is an important part of being healthy, it’s very important to monitor your sugar intake closely (especially that found in processed foods). Sugar is a substance highly addictive and harmful, increases the risk of gaining weight and suffering from various chronic diseases. Among the most recent findings of science, it has been shown that a high consumption of sugar has a strong association with depression. This is demonstrated by a study from 2015, carried out in postmenopausal women and in which an increase in added sugars in their diet was shown to be associated with a greater likelihood of depression. Also, according to a study published in the journal Diabetologia, researchers have discovered that when blood glucose levels are high, the levels of a protein that stimulates the growth of neurons and synapses decrease. Here is the reason why a high consumption of sugar increases the risk of depression, diabetes and dementia.

sugar
Sugar donut. / Photo: Unsplash

2. Artificial sweeteners

When we talk about sugar we must also include the wide range of artificial sweeteners, which are the most popular substitute for sugar and we tend to think that “they are not as bad.” Aspartame, the common (and dangerous) ingredient found in products like diet sodas, blocks the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. This can cause all kinds of neurological diseases, including headaches, insomnia, mood swings, and yes, depression. In general the products that contain them are full of additives and do not contribute anything good to physical, mental and emotional health, bet on the consumption of natural sources of sugar such as fruit and honey.

Refrescos./Photo: Pxhere

3. Alcohol

The central nervous system governs an important part of our emotional and mental health. ANDs responsible for receiving information through the five senses, thinking, understanding, reasoning and controlling motor function. That is why the senses deteriorate as the night progresses and we drink more alcohol. The truth is alcohol is a depressant and much more specifically, it depresses the functioning of the central nervous system. We cannot fail to mention that the central nervous system is responsible for controlling how we process emotions. Although drinking alcohol initially brings us uncontrollable happiness, it is a dangerous depressant and has the ability to exacerbate symptoms associated with depressionn. If you cut back on alcohol, you may be surprised what happens to your body when you stop drinking.

Drink alcohol
Alcohol./Foto:Pexels

4. Hydrogenated oils

Most foods made with hydrogenated oils are a deadly enemy of good health. In general, foods such as fried chicken, cheese sticks, donuts, potatoes and fried squid are a delicious temptation that can not only cause weight gain and deteriorate cardiovascular health. They are related to depression! What happens is that these fries are generally made with the use of partially hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenation is a process that converts vegetable oil into a more solid form, which makes it a more stable product in storage and in general they are very accessible to the pocket. Nevertheless, are conspicuous for their trans fat content that directly contributes to depression. This type of saturated fat, can clog the arteries and impede blood flow to the brain and ultimately optimal brain function, is key in preventing depression, anxiety and altered moods.

Fried chicken. / Photo: Shutterstock

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