Our mood is a derivative of the food that we eat. There are certain food items that make us more edgy and there are others which help us to increase our resilience in the face of adversity. So, what are the foods that can act as mood elevators? Whatever is good for your health also helps you to be in a positive frame of mind,
DEPRESSION, tension, stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, fitful sleep, mood swings, tantrums …. All these are considered to be inevitable consequences of modern living, so much so that having them is not even considered to be much out of the ordinary, at least not till one’s condition becomes alarming. Physical ailments are attended to promptly; not emotional difficulties.
Depression is a clinical, psychological condition marked by extreme feelings of dejection, lack of confidence and melancholy, according to Bill Gottlieb, et al., in New Choices in Natural Healing. Unlike sadness or temporary feelings of grief, depression lingers.
Are you experiencing four or more of these symptoms?
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
- Restlessness or irritability.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
- Sleep problems, including insomnia
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.
Important to review a number of factors
- Family history of depression.
- Recent personal loss. Death, divorce, loss of a job, relocation, a child going to college or moving away, etc., can bring on depression.
- Personal history of depression; it is not uncommon for depression to recur.
- Drugs and alcohol. Drugs, such as sedatives and tranquilizers, can induce depression. Studies have linked heavy alcohol use to depression.
- Depressive personality. People with certain personality traits, especially the tendency to brood, criticize and be pessimistic, are more prone to depression.
While these dietary factors are thought to help alleviate depression, other foods are speculated to have negative effects on the human psyche. Most of these are typically considered to be good for one's mood, but the contrary is actually true. Alcohol, for instance, is oftentimes used as an escape from depression, but in actuality, alcohol can lead to vitamin deficiencies which can contribute to depression.
Caffeine can lead to sleeping problems, whether it be full-fledged insomnia or the inability to fall into the deep sleep necessary for a healthy disposition. Caffeine can lead to overstimulation of the nervous system, which raises anxiety levels, and "anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, mak[ing] recovery more difficult"
For that coveted feel-good sensation, take:
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruit and vegetable Juices
- Olive oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil
- High-fibre foods like whole grain cereals and whole pulses
- Sprouted beans
- Skimmed milk
- Curd made out of skimmed milk
- Cottage cheese made out of skimmed milk
- Soybean products
- Clear soup
- Butter milk
- Parched wheat, rice, maize, chana and peas
- Puffed cereals
- Nuts and seeds
- Wheat grass juice
- Plain water
To get rid of the bad mood, go extremely slow on:
- Soft drinks
- Refined sugar
- Fried foods, gravies, sauces,
- Hydrogenated oils
- Items made out of refined flour (maida)
- Red meat
- Processed meat,and cured or salted meats, including salami etc
- Alcoholic drinks
- Butter, lard, ghee, coconut oil, hydrogenated oils
- MSG additives
- Butter, mayonnaise
- Whole milk, cream, cheese (except low-fat), creamy,
- Items that are too hot or too cold
In summary, by putting all of the basic nutrients into your body on a daily basis, depression can be avoided or reversed. However, once depression has set in, it can be quite challenging to even imagine having the energy or desire to do any of these things. I recommend a whole food supplement that gets into the cells which means it is bio-available.