For many people, depression is a very big obstacle that prevents them from accomplishing even the simplest of tasks. Moreover, it can contribute to chronic diseases and aggravate existing health issues. Fortunately, evidence suggests that changes in diet plans can help improve the quality of life and mood without the need to have any medication.
The British Journal of Psychiatry had once published the results of a study which analyzed the dietary pattern and the imminences of depression. People who ate whole foods reported lesser symptoms of depression when compared to people who ate processed foods. Moreover, when comparing a vegetarian with an omnivorous diet, people having vegetarian and plant-based food reported positive mood than carnivores.
How does It Work?
Both the protective effects of plant-based food items and the harmful effects of animal foods have a role to play in the regulation of mood. Some of the previous studies have established the link between depression and chemical imbalance of the neurotransmitters and inflammation in the brain. Plant-based food items are high in phytochemicals and antioxidants that can help reduce the inflammation in brain cells. Moreover, plant-based consumer goods can help restore the balance of neurotransmitters.
In people who are distressed with depression, a high level of monoamine oxidase is observed. This enzyme can break down dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that can regulate mood. Higher levels of the enzyme can result in low levels of these neurotransmitters, which can lead to depression. Quercetin, which is a phytochemical present in plant-based foods is a good monoamine oxidase inhibitor and can work as a natural anti-depressant by increasing the amount of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. Therefore, including foods like kale, apples, grapes, berries, green tea, and onion in your diet can help fight depression.
A fat, mostly found in animals – arachidonic acid, acts as a forerunner to inflammatory chemicals. When you eat foods like eggs, chicken, and other animal-based food items, it sets off many chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to an increase in the quantum of inflammatory mediators that are circulating in your blood, which can lead to overreactive immune responses. Inflammation reaching the brain will lead to subsequent feelings of stress, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. People who avoid food items that are high in arachidonic acid report a positive and happy mood. This means that avoiding inflammatory animal foods from your diet can not only ensure physical health but also mental health.