What you eat can affect how you feel, especially if you start feeling a little depressed.
Sugar gives you a little boost… and then a big crash after. Over time, this can lead to becoming dependent or even addicted to the sugar that gives you a high.
But… you may be one of the many people who turn to sugary foods when feeling the blues or depression. You're not alone, and you don't need to beat yourself up over it.
Now that you know, you can actively change what you're doing to feel better.
There's Lots Of Reasons To Feel Blue – And Some You Can Manage
Feeling blue or even depression has many causes – some you can control, some you can't.
If you feel down or depressed in the short term (a few hours or a day or two), that's okay. Everybody feels down and depressed occasionally.
But, if you feel the depression for longer or it happens often, you may have additional concerns to address.
Primarily, depression is a dopamine and serotonin imbalance in your brain. If one or both of these hormones don't get produced in sufficient quantities, you feel depressed.
Sugars can artificially stimulate dopamine production for about 15 minutes. But, because it's artificially pumped up, your body slows the production at other times, leaving you feeling more depressed.
Other factors can lead to depression, including physical health concerns (heart disease can cause depression). So, if you think you may be experiencing it, it's best to talk to a doctor to discover the cause and help work towards a true solution.
Three Foods To Boost Your Mood And Well Being
Regardless of the cause, eating a healthy diet benefits your whole body. It can help your brain produce good quality hormones and neurotransmitters that stabilize your thoughts and lift you out of depression. It provides the necessary nutrients for good brain health.
This takes work, and you don't see results immediately. But, the results are much more long-lasting than grabbing a donut.
Green Leafy Vegetables
One of the best foods for your body, green leafy vegetables provide tremendous nutrition and phytonutrients.
Although each leafy greens vary in nutrition, they are all packed with vitamins and lots of minerals that you need daily. Plus, they have almost no sugar, making them perfect for people looking to lose weight or are diabetic.
It's the other phytonutrients that make a big difference. Things like chlorophyll, anthocyanins, ALA, polysaccharides, flavonoids, and quercetin work with our bodies to help build strong, healthy issues and fight off diseases and cancer.
Ideally, you should eat one serving of leafy greens per day. If you have a good salad or a smoothie, it's pretty easy to get in your leafy greens.
Nuts are another low-sugar snack that does wonders for your body. Packed with healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, they support your brain health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the areas of research scientists look into to help with depression, dementia, and other neurological issues. They're finding across the board that healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a diet low in sugar swiftly provide tangible results for memory, cognition, and mood.
If you like dark chocolate, it's one of the best snacks that you can choose, especially combined with the nuts.
Dark chocolate has lower sugars than most chocolates and a much stronger flavor. Plus, it contains one of the highest concentrations of flavonoids, such as resveratrol, linked to helping your heart. Dark chocolate also helps stabilize hormones, which can improve your dopamine and serotonin balance.
Here's The One To Avoid:
Wheat – Bread, Pastry, Pasta
Wheat is a growing problem for many people. It's estimated anywhere from a third to half of the population has some form of gluten intolerance, meaning their digestive system gets inflamed and irritated when eating wheat. Wheat causes many cases of IBS, reflux, GERD, and irritable bowel. In addition, many people find eating wheat products contributes to constipation.
Wheat's primary component is carbohydrates, long chains of sugars connected to each other. Your digestive system breaks down wheat into the individual sugars, which means eating bread or pastries is equivalent to eating candy.
Have you ever had a big pasta dinner and felt sleepy afterward? That's the depressive effect of all the wheat (being converted to sugar) on your system.
Cutting out bread, pasta, and other wheat-based snacks like cookies and pastries can be difficult. Working to reduce current consumption slowly can help get you on the right track and make it stick for the long term. You can start by cutting out snacks with wheat and replacing them with healthy alternatives such as fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate. Then, you can work on replacing other parts of different meals with healthier alternatives.
Some diet changes can be more challenging when you're feeling blue. However, they can help and improve your overall health and wellness.