8 Foods to Include in a Diet for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder refers to a mental condition characterized by sudden changes in the mood where the person experiences frequent highs and lows in their temperament. There are ways to control this condition, such as including certain foods for bipolar disorder in the diet, taking mood-stabilizing medications, and opting for therapy. Some minor diet changes can assist one to manage these episodes in a better way.

While these foods for bipolar disorder cannot cure one of this condition, it can make the condition far easier to handle.

1. Whole grains
These are heart-healthy and excellent for the gut. They’re also found to have a relaxing effect on the mind. Carbs will also help boost the brain’s serotonin secretion and this feel-good chemical can lessen anxiety.

2. Omega-3 fatty acids
EPA and DHA can be an essential part of nerve cells and these facilitate better signaling among cells. Studies are still being conducted to see whether the omega-3 fatty acids can actually help in treating bipolar disorder, depression, and a variety of mental health problems. Till date, the effects of omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be mixed; they are known to help in alleviating depression symptoms but may not have any impact on mania. To get omega-3, one will need to incorporate fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, herring, and sardines in their meals.

3. Foods rich in selenium
Foods such as sardines, halibut, and tuna are recommended for a healthy mind. Selenium deficiency is often responsible for anxiety and depression. Grown-ups need a minimum of 55 grams of selenium every day and one can get these from foods like tuna, ham, shrimp, Brazil nuts, sardines, steak, turkey, and beef liver.

4. Turkey
This is very rich in tryptophan which is an amino acid known for inducing sleep. Tryptophan also helps the body to produce serotonin and this chemical can help to stabilize one’s mood. When serotonin is elevated, it can help alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder.

5. Beans
Black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and lima beans, all belong to the legume family and are rich in magnesium. Research shows that magnesium is useful for reducing mania symptoms in individuals suffering from bipolar disorder. Besides, fiber-rich foods and nutritious foods in the diet can never do the body any harm. Magnesium-rich nuts like cashews, almonds, and peanuts can also help in regulating stress responses by ensuring that cortisol levels are under control.

6. Probiotics
The gut has different kinds of bacteria, some of which live harmoniously with one another and some that can make one sick. Scientists are now working on understanding how healthy bacteria can boost immunity and lower inflammation. People who are suffering from depression tend to have much higher levels of inflammation. There are bacteria that release stress hormones like norepinephrine and some release calming chemicals like serotonin. So, if one consumes more probiotics, one can increase the number of healthy bacteria in the gut. Foods like kefir, yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and miso are excellent sources of probiotics.

7. Herbal teas
Teas such as chamomile have been used for years as a remedy for stomach disorders, anxiety, and sleeplessness. Research suggests that chamomile extract may help relieve feelings of anxiety and depression.

8. Saffron
This spice that’s commonly used in the preparation of Mediterranean and Indian cuisines has medicinal value because of its antidepressant properties and calming effects. So, saffron extract might find a place as one of the foods for bipolar disorder treatment.

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