1. Why sugar is bad for depression/anxiety
In one of the earlier articles I mentioned how certain diets, such as a Mediterranean diet. Judging from the sources I’ve seen diets like this are objectively good for your mental health. There are of course comfort foods which can make one feel better. For example, eating sugary foods after a bad day will make you feel better. The only catch is, the fact that it is very temporary. When we eat things like sugar, this almost immediately activates our dopamine receptors, making us feel good.
This goes out the window when sugar reaches your gastrointestinal tract. It then tells your brain that excess sugar isn’t good for you and negatively influences your emotions, essentially giving you a “nudge” to eat better. This effect obviously lasts much longer, so try your best to limit sugar intake if you’ve been dealing with anxiety or depression.
2. Foods that are good for anxiety
I understand, that Mediterranean diets aren’t for everyone. Especially ones that are specific and strict as listed in the article I was referring to earlier. The truth is that not everyone has the time or patience to have a completely sound diet. I know I don’t, so I try to eat healthier in small ways.
Luckily another Harvard article has me covered here as well. They present a list of reasonable foods that can improve one’s anxiety. Some of these are: avocados, nuts/seeds, asparagus, etc. The article notes that avocados and nuts have a lot of vitamin B, which helps with anxiety. There are more in depth explanations for why these foods reduce anxiety, but I’d rather not rob the article of those details. So if you happen to be curious, take a look at it here.
3. Foods that are good for depression
Before I talk about some foods that can help specifically with depression, it’s important to note another culprit for depression. That culprit is caffeine. While everything is good in moderation, if you’re feeling depressed try to avoid it. While you may rely on it for work, consider toning it down if you think you need to.
In terms of food that will help with depression, they more or less apply to anxiety as well. Whole grains, fruits, and veggies will all help minimize depression. Another food to note is seafood. While it’s probably already drilled into most people’s heads at this point, seafood is in more ways than one good for you. Fish are high in omega 3’s, which have been shown to help with depression among other things.
Like I had implied before, if you don’t have the time to dedicate yourself to a somewhat strict diet, do small things like I do. Cut back a bit on sugar and junk food, and reach for more foods that you now know will make you feel better. Don’t make eating healthy too painful on yourself either, maybe make some guacamole or buy some sushi. Or get creative and look into alternative ways to make healthy foods taste better. One thing I do is oven cooking broccoli with garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Try it, you’ll thank me later.
Lastly, if you still feel anxious/depressed after managing your diet like this, consider other options like exercise. If those don’t work, consider talking to a psychiatrist. This advice is for people who have minor forms of anxiety/depression, and if it isn’t, make sure you get the proper care.
In any case, I hope that everyone reading is doing well. If you have any questions for me about how I manage myself mentally, feel free to reach out.
Phone: (949) 331-5741