Can Eating a Vegan Diet Help Cure Depression?
People suffering from depression often feel stigmatized, but the truth is that depression is an illness just like the flu or measles. It is not uncommon to feel a bit down when the weather is awful and you have had a bad week, but whereas the ‘blues’ usually disappear after a day or two, depression can last for weeks, months or even years and requires ongoing treatment such as TMS therapy for depression.
Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It can be triggered by outside events such as the death of a loved one or some other major emotional catalyst, but often there is no discernible reason why a person becomes depressed. Depression can also run in the family, so if your mother or father suffers from depression, you are more likely have the illness yourself.
The Link between Diet and Depression
You are what you eat, so what we eat can have a dramatic effect on our mental and physical health. Changing to a different diet may help to lift your mood and lessen the symptoms of depression. To illustrate this, a study carried out by the University of Melbourne found that women who ate a diet of high quality proteins, whole grains, fruit and vegetables were 30% less likely to have suffered a major depressive episode compared to participants who ate a diet high in refined sugar and saturated fat.
Eat a Vegan Diet for Depression
If you suffer from depression, eating a healthy vegan diet could help to lessen your symptoms – or even eradicate them completely. Try to include high quality proteins, whole grains, and foods that contain omega-3s and vitamin B12. Tyrosine, an important amino acid, has been shown to boost levels of dopamine in the brain, which can counteract symptoms of depression and prevent further episodes.
Foods to Include
• Whole grains
•Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and carrots all contain high levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is good for depression
• Tofu, tempeh, legumes and peas are all a good source of tyrosine for vegans
• B12 fortified breakfast cereals are recommended by the Vegan Society
• Oranges, blueberries, peaches, strawberries and apricots all contain high levels of Vitamin C, which clear up free radicals
• Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts and seeds also help to mop up free radicals
• Walnuts, canola, soybean oil and flaxseed are all good sources of Omega-3
Prevention of Depression with Diet
Prevention is always better than cure, so if you are prone to depressive episodes, but are currently feeling fine, make the switch away from an unhealthy diet of sugar, processed food and fat to a healthy vegan diet. This should lessen the chances of you suffering any more black episodes in the future – and if you do, they should be easier to deal with.
If you have been diagnosed with depression, there are lots of drug-free therapies you can try, including counselling and TMS therapy for depression, which is provided by Smart Brain and Health. However, diet is arguably just as important and it is worth switching to a healthy vegan diet to cure your symptoms from within.