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Depression shows itself differently in people. Different genders' age groups and social classes may experience it in varied ways. Understanding the characteristics of depression enables an individual to properly understand what is happening and learn how to deal with them. Some features of depression include;
• An overwhelming somber mood that you cannot shake off or explain its origin
• Hard time being happy even when circumstances or situations make you happy
• Difficulty in sleeping often experienced in two forms, either as insomnia or excessive sleeping patterns where you want to stay in bed even after sleeping well
• Anxiety and worry even when there is nothing wrong
• Lack of interest in doing anything where you feel like just sitting and being inactive the whole day
• Excessive crying that is triggered by anything
• Imbalanced eating habits where you excessively eat or lose your appetite completely
• Low self-esteem and self-worth
• An overwhelming sense of guilt that makes you feel unworthy of living and existing or blaming yourself for events beyond your control.
The feeling of depression can be gradual. Some individuals experience the above symptoms over time and may, at times, be challenging to pinpoint when a person started feeling depressed. Food plays a significant role in alleviating or aggravating depression because food contains minerals and components that alter or impact the body, informing hormonal balance or imbalance and setting an individual's mood.
One needs to understand the kind of food they eat and what it does to their body, especially if you experience any or a set of the above characteristics. Having full knowledge of the foods you are taking is likely to help in your recovery journey. It is essential for an individual who feels depressed to ask for help and get someone to talk to because depression is clinically proven, and like any disease, should be treated. This section will thus explain different foods to avoid if battling with depression to help fight the condition and restore your body to full mental and physical health.
Sugar leads to an increase in blood sugar that triggers insulin addition, which results in a blood sugar crash. The body tries to combat the condition by producing cortisol, which tries to move sugar back to the bloodstream and supply significant organs like the brain. This process leads to irritability and anxiety that makes a person feel more depressed and on edge. Thus, avoid foods like chocolates, soda, and pasta and replace foods containing regulated sugar amounts to prevent the body from experiencing hypoglycemia.
Many individuals who have depression or feel its effects often want to indulge in alcohol to eliminate the feeling. However, this is not an excellent solution as alcohol is a depressant that works to lower the brain's threshold, reducing its activities and plunging you into a worse state in the long run.
This effect is because alcohol creates a chemical imbalance in your mind, making your body feel weaker and heightening emotions such as hunger, guilt, and unhappiness. The hangover created by alcohol hits your already compromised body, making the effects more heightened. It also results in increasing your chances of being a danger to yourself and the people you love as your thinking and decision-making are impaired.
Eating fast food, such as fries and burgers, increases the feeling and symptoms of depression. These foods are rich in sugar and oil that gives the body a more challenging time to process. Your system thus has to work harder to process the food making you feel tired and low. Most of your energy goes into digesting the food, reducing the amount of energy to your brain.
Reduced energy to the brain leads to impaired judgment, and it is not adequately powered to send the right emotional signals to your body. Your body, thus feels sluggish and lazy, making other symptoms manifest more. Fast foods also contain a high level of cholesterol and bad fats that slows the pumping of blood in the body, reducing the body functional activities.
Foods high in sodium alters the normal neurological function of the body, making it prone to depression. People who experience depression are thus likely to feel the symptoms more. It suppresses their neurological function, making it hard for the brain to send sane signals of events and emotions.
High sodium also leads to bloating and high-water retention that alters the individual's mood, making them irritable. Thus, you should avoid foods rich in sodium like canned foods, sauces, and fast foods. Ensure you regulate the amount of salt placed in homemade meals as it is high in sodium.
Excessive consumption of coffee is dangerous for individuals who suffer from depression. Due to its large caffeine content when excessively ingested, coffee leads to a lack of sleep, irritability, impaired judgment, and bad moods. These symptoms are typical of depression patients; thus, coffee intake is likely to aggravate the symptoms further, making the person socially unfit to interact with others and increase feelings of guilt and unworthiness that pose a danger to the person.
High gluten content leads to celiac disease, an immune-mediated disorder that causes depression, especially among the elderly. Gluten also leads to inflammation of the gut and intestinal walls inhibiting proper digestion and absorption of food. This process creates a conducive environment for the non-absorption of food. It leads to regular pangs of hunger, irritation, and a continual overeating cycle that makes an individual feel more depressed.
Hydrogenated oils refer to vegetable oils going through a process that makes them more concrete, making them more shelf-stable for an extended period. When prepared with hydrogenated oils, food such as chicken and French fries contain trans-fats that cause depression in individuals who excessively indulge in them.
They also build up amounts of saturated fats in the body's system, slowing blood flow to the brain. Hydrogenated oils may lead to clogging of arteries, which affects the body's normal function, making the person feel tired and sleepy even after a good night's sleep, increasing the person's chances of developing other depression symptoms.
Processed foods contain high sugar and sodium. They include other preservatives, and some are genetically modified to enable them last longer. Thus, they are a looming disaster for individuals prone to depression. They have multiple components that quickly throw the person's body off the hook and plunge them into depression faster. They are also hard to digest, slowing down the body's normal process and its ability to fight the food's effects.
Food plays a significant role in the optimum functioning of an individual's body. Eating healthy foods is likely to alleviate your mood and help you battle depression. It would be beneficial if you focused on staying away from the foods listed above to take care of your health. If you are unsure of what to take in terms of food specificity, then work with a physician. It will enable you to understand which other foods may seem healthy but are triggers for you. The above are generally foods that are likely to make individuals suffer from depression to spiral.
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