Don’t let depression and anxiety overpower you
Do you at times fret so much that it disturbs every day activities? Or feel so low that it completely clouds your outlook? You’re not the only one. Depression and anxiety are the most common disorders today. But You can overcome these problems because you are in safe hands now.
Do you know, depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems even in advanced nations like the US, affecting 18.1 percent of the adult population each year? The worst part is that mood disorders — which include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder — are the leading cause of disability there. But it is possible to fight these with some of the best foods for depression and anxiety
Are depression and anxiety interlinked?
Although these are slightly different emotional states, mental health research suggests that depression and anxiety often coexist because they can be caused by similar factors. Trauma or neglect in early childhood, relationship difficulties, unemployment, social isolation and physical illness can lead to depression and anxiety. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder are likely to also develop depression, as per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). When you get anxious,then you feel like you’ve failed, and you move to depression. Similarly, those who are depressed may feel anxious and worried, so one can lead to the other.
How do I know if I’m battling depression and anxiety?
Depression and anxiety have several common symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty in concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, sleep disturbance, constant fear and worry, rapid heartbeat, headaches, hot flashes, sweating, abdominal pain, difficulty in breathing, changes in eating, persistent feelings of sadness or worthlessness,
loss of interest in hobbies and activities, inability to relax and panic attacks.
Fight it out
Once it is established that you are fighting the inner demons called depression and anxiety, it is time to take things in hand. A combination of counselling, medication, and lifestyle changes, play a vital role in the healing process and teach you to challenge your negative thoughts with relaxation techniques. Daily exercise regime can also help ease symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Walking for at least 10 minutes daily can reduce the symptoms. Meditation, breathing exercise also add their bit to ease symptoms of both anxiety and depression and improve your quality of life.
Food for thought
There is an old saying – ‘you are what you eat’. So, there is a direct link between diet and depression. And this is even more relevant in case of depression and anxiety. Professional dieticians would tell you that best foods for depression and anxiety are those which calm your mind, nurture your body and heal your soul.
A 2017 study established that the symptoms of people with moderate-to-severe depression improved when they ate a more healthy diet for 12 weeks. To fight depression, diet is usually focussed on fresh and whole foods that are high in nutrients. Whole grains, Brazil nuts, seafood, liver, fish, fortified dairy products, eggs, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts are the best foods for depression and anxiety that an experienced and highly qualified dietician would strongly recommend.
Go for antioxidants
Antioxidants help remove free radicals, which are the waste products of natural bodily processes that can build up in the body. Fresh, plant-based foods such as berries, are good sources of antioxidants. Fresh fruits, vegetables, soy, and other plant products may help reduce the stress-related symptoms of depression and anxiety. Dark leafy vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, nuts, beans are all known as best foods for depression and anxiety. Tuna, turkey, chickpeas also help you fight these symptoms.
Watch out for weight woes
Many researchers have found that weight gain also raises the risk of depression and anxiety. Obviously, you must ask your dietician for a diet chart which is high on nutrients, yet keeps your weight in check.
What to avoid?
It can aggravate or trigger new bouts of depression and anxiety.
Regularly consuming large amounts of alcohol can lead to complications, such as accidents, family problems, loss of employment, and ill health.
Fast food and junk food is high in calories and low in nutrients, avoid it as far as possible and fresh produce to feel better. A large bar of chocolate may give an instant boost, but a rapid low may follow. Avoid trans fats, caffeine etc. You can indulge sometimes, but don’t binge on these on a regular basis.
Stay with those people who make you smile and enhance positivity. Read a good book, love yourself and smile when you are enjoying a great evening with friends or devouring some of the best foods.