According to Dr. Sunali Sharma, Dietician & Nutritionist, Amandeep Hospitals, "Simple food choices can change your life and affect your health accordingly. As per some researches there are foods that may cause depression or anxiety and also the people already suffering with depression. One must avoid consuming too much sugar, alcohol, hydrogenated oil, etc."
1. High sodium foods
High sodium foods can prove to be troublesome for your mental health. The presence of excess sodium in these foods can disrupt your neurological system contributing to depression and may even affect your immune system causing fatigue. Additionally, consumption of excess salt leads to bloating and water retention which automatically leads to irritability. If you don't wish to feel depressed or irritated, you should reduce the consumption of frozen foods, various sauces, cereals, baked goods, etc.(Also read: Herbal Remedies For Depression)
High sodium foods can prove to be troublesome for your mental health
Alcohol has always been listed under hazardous products. It has been associated with many serious health problems and it is known to be a central nervous system depressant. Your central nervous system is responsible for taking in information through senses, controlling motor function and various other tasks, which are slowed down by excess consumption of alcohol, further increasing the symptoms associated with depression. As per Dr. Sunali, "Alcohol creates a cluster inside the central nervous system, responsible for the flow of emotion. Thus in simple words we can say that alcohol is a depressant."
Alcohol has always been listed under hazardous products
Excessive consumption of caffeine can completely reverse the advantages of drinking coffee. It may lead to disrupting sleep patterns, irritability, agitation and anxiety, all of which can disrupt your mood and put you into depression. Many studies have also associated consumption of energy drinks with various health hazards, considering they have a lot of caffeine content.
Excessive consumption of caffeine can completely reverse the advantages of drinking coffee
4. Processed foods
Processed foods are any way not good for your waistline; sadly they don't do any good to your mental health too. Consumption of refined or processed carbohydrates like white bread, fried foods or any heavy junk food can easily spike your blood sugar levels, which may give you an initial energy boost, but will eventually leave you fatigued, irritated and sad.
Processed foods are any way not good for your waistline
5. Refined sugar
Any form of sugar- refined or artificial sugars can lead to depression, as high intake of sugar can raise the levels of inflammation throughout the body and brain causing some of the symptoms of depression. Moreover, these sweet treats can increase your blood sugar levels, resulting in a disturbed sleep which can completely damage your mood making you irritated, dull and sad. According to Dr. Sunali, "Excessive sugar intake makes your brain work at a sub-optimal level that increases the risk of depression and mental illness."
Any form of sugar- refined or artificial sugars can lead to depression6. Oils
You read that right. Certain hydrogenated oils or vegetable oils like sunflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil, et al. may contain trans-fat that could potentially become a cause of depression as they cause inflammation, further causing excessive mood swings. Also, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE consuming artery clogging trans-fat can easily up the risk of depression by as much as 48 percent.
Many oils may contain trans-fat that are unhealthy
We are not asking you to give up on these foods completely, but to reduce their intake significantly.
Food is known to be the best medicine; it ensures a transfer of essential nutrients in the body and keeps it healthy and going. But did you know, foods do much more than just nourish our body? It affects us physically and mentally both; in fact certain foods have the ability to boost our energy and pump up our moods and make us feel happy. Likewise, there are foods that can completely put you into a state of depression and fatigue, thanks to some of them cancelling out chemicals in the brain. Avoiding these foods is the best way to not feel low. We enlist foods that could lead to some symptoms of depression if consumed in excess.