Our diet has a direct effect on our immune system and thus makes a significant contribution to our health. If your blood sugar levels fluctuate because you are not eating well, you may experience sleep disturbances, imbalances, fatigue, and pain. Therefore, eat light meals to make you feel lighter and cleanse your body of harmful substances. This also includes a lot to drink (but no alcohol). Recommended are tea (no green or black tea, but herbal tea, fruit tea, lavender or lemon balm tea), fruit juice and still water (because carbon dioxide can also make you nervous!) Do yourself more often something good, and eat above all what You like it. Spend your money on being properly pampered on a regular basis and remember: Eating is also a “pleasure”!
So, eat happily and avoid everything that makes you unhappy! Here is my list of “Do’s & Dont’s” in the diet.
Avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs as much as possible.
Smoking is not only unhealthy, but has been shown to aggravate anxiety and panic attacks. Cigarettes make you nervous immediately, instead of relaxing you.
Alcohol relaxes you for a short time, but after just a few hours, it makes you feel depressed, sad, and impotent. This also applies and especially if you are taking medication – your liver has enough to do with it!
Drugs strain your organism, and everything that strains your organism is depressive. Unfortunately, for space reasons, we can not devote ourselves to the harmful effects of individual drugs. So, please keep your hands off it, because drugs will not bring you on, but throw you back!
For a cup a day is certainly no objection, but you should keep in mind that coffee, black and partly green tea as well as tobacco consumption cause fears and panic or can increase in no time. Too much coffee causes anxiety, nausea, dizzy spells and a decline in performance.
- Allergens and pollutants
Spicy cleaners, fumes, etc. are a major drain on your immune system and additionally weaken you. Food allergens (lactose, etc.) can also trigger depression.
These vitamins and minerals are good for depression: –
- Vitamins in fish, fruits & vegetables and dairy products
Note in advance: Please avoid – if your doctor has not recommended otherwise – if possible, vitamin supplements and other supplements, because they often contain substances that burden your body additionally, and because they are usually not as healthy as natural foods. Regular intake of supplements can even increase mortality, as demonstrated by a large-scale study with 230,000 participants. So eat something healthy instead of swallowing pills!
Dopamine acts directly on the reward system and is crucial for our wellbeing. Since the synthesis of dopamine is directly via the B vitamins (especially B12), you should eat a lot of healthy fish and dairy products (with lactose intolerance, of course, only lactose-free products). Fish oil has many B vitamins and raises the level of omega-3 fatty acids; Alone, this has a long-term mood-enhancing effect. Incidentally, you can also find vegan supplements in the pharmacy.
- Vitamin B6
This vitamin B promotes serotonin synthesis (good for mood) and is mainly found in cereals and shellfish.
- Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 regenerates the skin, muscles, nerves and DNA. It is mainly found in poultry, game, fish, mushrooms, dairy products and eggs. Vegans can meet their needs. a. cover peanuts, dates, mushrooms, dried apricots and legumes.
- Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 is crucial for our growth and energy metabolism. Some antidepressants affect the absorption of vitamin B2, which can lead to deficiency symptoms! Therefore, eat plenty of dairy products, fish, meat, eggs and whole grains, and get regular medical check-ups.
- Folic acid (vitamin B9)
Also, a deficiency of folic acid is associated with depression. Folic acid is present in the following foods: wheat germ, beef, veal and chicken liver, beans, yeast, wholegrain bread, spinach, kale and asparagus, nuts, fruit, fish and egg yolk.
- Vitamin E
This vital vitamin not only strengthens the immune system and helps to fight off pollutants but is also important for the nerves. Studies have shown that people with depression often have too low a vitamin E (tocopherol) level. Such a lack of vitamin E causes, among other things, impaired concentration, decreased performance, tiredness and increased irritability. Vitamin E is found mainly in wheat germ oil, sunflower oil and virgin olive oil. Please store these oils as light protected as possible and do not overheat them, just warm them up.
- Vitamin A (Retinol)
This vitamin is important not only for eyesight, skin, bones and tissues, but also for our nervous system and metabolism. Stress and the use of certain sleeping pills can lower the vitamin A level. Incidentally, vitamin A is not only found in carrots and other fruits and vegetables, but also in fish, liver, butter, egg yolks and dairy products. Always eat some fat with vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, because otherwise the body can not absorb the good ingredients. Just nibbling dry carrots makes about as much sense in vitamin technology as chewing on a pencil end.
- Vitamin C
This vitamin is always important, which is why we are no longer concerned with it.
- Vitamin D (cholecalciferol)
Surely you also know the term “winter depression”. Vitamin D is mainly formed by the sunlight and has a great influence on our well-being. It regulates calcium levels and is important for bone formation. Studies have shown that vitamin D levels are often lower in older people with depression than in people without depression. Go out into the sun as often as possible and occasionally eat greasy fish such as herring, sprat, sardine and anchovy, salmon, mackerel, tuna and carp.
- Vitamin A (Retinol)
A lack of vitamin D can be caused among other things by the following factors:
- too low a consumption of dairy products,
- excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco and
- too little (direct) sunlight (especially in the elderly).
Some studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and dysphoria (depression and “bad mood”). Therefore, an additional (precisely dosed by the doctor!) Administration of vitamin D in depression is recommended by some researchers. Vitamin D is very important for the regulation of calcium levels in the blood and for bone formation. Vitamin D deficiency is therefore associated with calcium deficiency, and this in turn with osteoporosis and muscle cramps. However, administration of excessive levels of calcium and vitamin D seems to be associated with brain injury in some elderly people. Too much vitamin D and calcium are also associated with brain calcification and dementia. Therefore, here again applies: Only the right level is healthy. Always talk to your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements and minerals!
Even through sleep deprivation and light therapy, vitamin D deficiency can be resolved to a degree. Read more in our chapter “Sleep”.
- Sugar and carbohydrates
These vital substances increase tryptophan uptake in the brain and thereby raise serotonin levels, which has a positive effect on well-being. On the other hand, too much sugar and carbohydrates not only make you fat, but also lead to adrenaline in the long term, which in turn damages the cells and can even lead to the development of cancer.
Magnesium deficiency can lead to depression, as evidenced by large-scale studies. Always make sure you have sufficient magnesium intake. Magnesium is contained in amounts above 100mg per 100g, especially in whole grains, wheat bran, oatmeal, oatmeal, whole rice, green vegetables, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, beans and peas.
Zinc has been shown to be antidepressant and should therefore always be present in sufficient quantities. It is found mainly in animal products (mainly in muscle meat, offal, fish and cheese). Vegans should eat a lot of whole grains, soybeans and peanuts. Sourdough bread improves the availability of zinc. Incidentally, postpartum depression is also often due to zinc deficiency.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 113 patients with atypical depression has shown that daily doses of Chromium Picolinate were significantly antidepressant in those patients who had high cravings for carbohydrates. Chromium is present in higher quantities in liver, kidneys and muscle meat, cheese and whole grains, oysters, pepper, nuts and brown sugar (molasses).
- Sugar and carbohydrates
Environmental toxins and immunocompromising conditions
Although this note is not necessarily in our chapter “nutrition”, but is important: Environmental toxins such as exhaust gases, solvents, etc. damage the immune system and can trigger depression. Incidentally, inflammation, infections and immunodeficiency diseases are also depressing.