Depression is medically defined as a consistent state of low energy and lack of motivation characterized by many accompanying symptoms such as the inability to focus on a task, sadness, and even suicidal thoughts. Most people with depression also tend to have generalized anxiety disorder, which runs in a vicious cycle contributing to intermittent states of nervous agitation and panic attacks immediately followed by depressive episodes.
As depression is a mental disorder, a person with depression needs to pay close attention to their diet. Here are some foods for depression that can harm mental health. The following foods are to be avoided as much as possible if diagnosed with clinical depression.
1. Fruit juice
What happens when all the fiber is strained out of a fruit? We are left with nothing but sugar water. And sugar water causes an immediate and extreme rise and subsequent fall in energy levels leading to rapid changes in mood. People with depression should instead consume fruits in their solid form.
2. Fizzy drinks
Not just mental health, those focused on overall health should avoid these beverages as much as they can. They are essentially sugar water with none of the nutrition available in fruit juices. Drinking too many sodas can also lead to dehydration, which, in turn, can cause symptoms.
3. White bread
White bread is made from highly processed flour which quickly converts to sugar once it is in the bloodstream. The resulting spike and fall in blood sugar are detrimental to mental health.
The caffeine in coffee can lead to agitation and nervousness. Too much can also mess with a person’s sleep schedule and contribute to anxiety which then can trigger depressive episodes. Those diagnosed with depression should eliminate coffee from their diet or at least try and cut down on their daily caffeine intake.
This is one of the worst foods for depression but is unfortunately consumed by a lot of patients. Regular consumption of alcohol causes sluggishness, drowsiness, and a host of other symptoms which takes a toll on mental health. While consuming alcohol in moderation is fine, too much of it can trigger a depressive episode which leads to more alcohol consumption. Those using alcohol to deal with their depression should seek immediate help.
6. Processed foods
Foods like cakes, pizzas, and other junk foods contain trans fats that have been directly linked to depression. Foods under this category should be consumed once in a while and not every day.
7. Vegetable oils
Many oils like sunflower, corn, soybean, and canola oils are made with high-heat processes and use up a lot of solvents. And items deep-fried in these oils like french fries and doughnuts can hold high levels of unhealthy fats in them. So, consuming a lot of fried foods can not only contribute to depression but also paves the way for other inflammatory diseases.
Although cutting out all of these unhealthy foods for depression in one stroke is not possible, a slow but steady reduction in the intake of unhealthy foods and replacing them with a diet of good fats, fiber, fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean protein can help rejuvenate the body from within.