Did you know that amongst many possible mood triggering factors, there are certain foods that cause depression? Your random and careless appetite attitude can get hefty on your health.
We all love food because there are just so many different varieties to choose from and there’s nothing like enjoying your favorite meal whenever you want, be it a nice jalapeno burger with a chilled can of coke and fries, or simply home cooked mom’s specialities.
While the thought of your favorite foods makes you happy, some of the foods you eat can actually affect you emotionally as well. Yes, that’s true. A lot of the things we consume on a daily basis are doing more harm than with negative emotional fluctuations and these are what we term as foods that cause depression!
Main Foods that Cause Depression
According to latest research, edibles included in our list of top ‘foods that cause depression ’, all contain chemicals that travel all the way up to our limbic systems in the brain; which is the control centre of all emotions. Upon reaching the brain, these chemicals trigger sugar ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ by creating chemical imbalances in the brain which then result in mood swings like anxiety, irritation and eventually, depression!
So here are the main foods that cause depression which you should be avoiding or at least restricting their intake:
Today, artificial sweeteners are found in a variety of beverages and foods bearing a “sugar-free” or “diet” label on them. These include soft drinks, baked goods, chewing gum, ice cream yogurt and fruit juice etc. One of the culprits in these artificial sweeteners is aspartame which is the most commonly used artificial sweetener today. If you are somebody prone to depression, then you might want to maintain a safe distance from this little trouble maker. Aspartame hinders the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, resulting in mood dips, insomnia and headaches.
According to experts, even just a modest amount of caffeine you consume can cause anxiety or depression. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks do pep you up for a while, but may have a more harmful effect. Caffeine disturbs your sleep, making it rather difficult to go to sleep and remain asleep. This disturbance in the sleeping pattern directly bares an impact on your mood. It can result in tremors, nervousness and agitation. Energy drinks are particularly harmful as most of them contain caffeine equivalent to that of 14 cans of cola! Now that’s some serious dose of caffeine isn’t it?
Sodium Rich Foods
While fat free foods might be great at giving you a trimmed waist line, they aren’t all that good when it comes to your emotions. These foods contain a high level of sodium which not only increase blood pressure but can also disturb your neurological system, causing depression.
It can also botch up your immune system response causing weariness. Consuming too much salt is also another factor that plays it’s part in this mood swing game. Upon entering the body, the salt causes fluid retention and gives you a bloated feeling, all leading to gloominess. Though sodium is essential for the body like other minerals, yet care should be taken in its consumption because not everything that seems tasteless is without sodium. Foods that contain high amounts of sodium include:
- Cured meat
- Fast foods
- Canned vegetables
- Cereals and processed foods
- Vegetable juices
- Frozen meals
- Soya sauce etc
A mars bar or milky way chocolate is definitely a very pleasant tasting source of instant energy, but all the refined sugar they contain plays havoc once inside the bloodstream. It brings about a ‘sugar crash’ by making the blood glucose levels take a deep plunge. This decline in the glucose levels, disrupts our mood, drains our energy and causes sleep disorders.
Refined carbohydrates are considered to be of low nutritional value and are therefore, best avoided or at least minimized. The intake of refined or processed carbohydrates like pasta, cereal, snack foods, musli bars or white bread etc, affects the blood sugar levels in the same way a pack of chocolates would.
Doughnuts, pastries and cakes etc are all made in the same manner using lots of white flour and lots of sugar. And what’s the end result of eating all that? An immediate insulin boost that lasts for a while, and then you end up feeling tired, irritated and depressed!
Just when you would start thinking “ok, so what exactly are we supposed to eat then?”, here’s another component of foods that cause depression. As yummy and irresistible as fried chicken, fried fish and all your favorite fried food might , stay away from it as much as you can. Everything that contains transfats and is cooked in hydrogenated oils is likely to cause depression. You also need to be on the lookout for saturated fats found in animal products like frozen and processed meats, butter, cream, cheese etc. These fats can clog the arteries and restrict the flow of blood to the brain.
In order to keep yourself healthy and fit in every way, it’s very important to educate yourself about anything that you are eating as that can save you from a lot of different ailments and problems.
So the next time you attempt to dig into your meal or snack, be cautious about foods that cause depression. Eat healthy and live healthy!