I spoke with a lady today who wanted to purchase my book. She shared with me that she was feeling depressed and needed some direction in regards to her health. I suggested she look at chapter 3 of my book, Healthy Body for Life, which addresses nutrition for depression.
Depression affects many women in mid-life. It is twice more prevalent in women than in men. The change in hormone levels as you near menopause is one of the most common factors that may precipitate depression. These physical changes often have an emotional consequence.
Depression can manifest as:
There is no denying that food can affect your mental health and your mood.
Over the next few days, I will share some foods and supplements you can begin to include in your diet to help reduce the symptoms of depression.
Let's begin by talking about carbohydrates. But first, we need to look at the difference between complex and simple carbs.
Simple carbohydrates: These simple sugars are found in white sugar, honey, soft drinks, processed fruit juice, candy and other sweet snacks, white bread, white rice, and boxed cereal. They are processed and give you a quick but brief boost of energy.
Complex carbohydrates: These are more fibrous foods such as whole grains and their products (oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and whole grain bread), green vegetables, starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash, and potatoes), and beans and lentils. Their higher fibre content means that they will take more time to process, giving us sustained energy over a longer period of time.
Eating a nutrient dense diet is the foundation of well-being, both physical and mental.
Complex carbohydrates are an important nutrient to include in your everyday diet. It is especially important for those struggling with depression, and here's why. Complex carbs help to stabilize your blood sugar levels, and prompt the release of serotonin, a brain chemical that has a positive effect on mood. Serotonin is sometimes called the ‘happiness’ hormone. So make some simple changes. Enjoy brown rice instead of white, oatmeal in the morning instead of sugar-coated cereal, fruit instead of candy. And make a lovely green salad every day.
Feed your body well, and enjoy the benefits of a healthier body and a happier mind.