Beating Depression through Diet and Exercise

Depression can lead to much worse cases of alcohol and drug abuse, underachievement in school and in work, social withdrawal and poor physical health.

In Australia, almost half of its population experiences mental health problems at some point of their lives. And mostly, it’s the younger people who have the highest number of depression occurrence.

Depression though may mellow at the onset of old age. In America, 15.7 million adults are reported to have a major depressive disorder. In UK, anxiety and depression tops the most common mental disorder and affects 8-12% of the population every year.

But, how can you tell if the one you love or know is suffering from depression? Here are some tell tale signs:

    1. Moodiness and irritability.
    2. Loss of interest in life
    3. Withdrawal from social relationships
    4. Appetite loss
    5. Disrupted sleep and irregular sleeping patterns
    6. Unmotivated
    7. Lack of energy
    8. Difficulty in concentrating

Think Less of It

The first remedy is to self motivate. One can start identifying troubles and triggers but not dwell on them. Then try talking about it with a friend. Turning into something more positive will help also. Try newer hobbies.

Expression of one’s self is a fun way to block harsh thoughts and express it. Looking in the bright side of things is also advisable.

Depression and Diet

Depression can be remedied by choosing your diet and food well. Certain food choices that are natural and healthy can help alleviate the blues and keep you happy.

Here are the top foods that can beat depression.

    1. Fish oils. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids. It can restock your lack of EPA, fatty acids which can’t be produce by the body to alleviate depression. It can be taken from fishes such as salmon, tuna and sardines and from plant sources such as Chia seed, walnuts and flaxseeds.
    2. Brown rice. Brown rice is a known low glycemic food and it releases glucose into the blood gradually thus preventing mood swings. It is high in fiber and helps in the health of digestive system. It contains vitamin B1, B2 and B3 too.
    3. Cabbage. Cabbage is helpful in fighting stress, and infection. It helps in stabilize sugar and can cure stomach ulcers.
    4. Banana. Banana has the natural anti-depressant components. It can make you happy and help reduce depressive moods.
    5. Vegetables and fruits. So it isn’t just the cabbage and the bananas alone, eating lots of natural foods can help you become healthy mentally and physically.  Avoid all which has “instant” word in the packaging and as much as possible, avoid those that are artificially flavored and preserved.

Breathing Exercises

These 3 breathing exercise has been as advised by PsychCentral as outlined in Dr. Brown and Dr. Gerbarg’s  book Healing Power of the Breath. So here they are.

Coherent Breathing. Coherent breathing can be achieved by inhaling five times and exhaling five times. It is a five minute rate that maximizes the heart rate variability. These can lead to better stress-response capability of the body which helps in decrease of depression, stress and anxiety.

Resistance breathing. With this kind of breathing, one creates resistance to the air flow. It can be done by breathing through the nose and exhaling though the nose instead of the mouth.

Breath Moving. This one is a little journey in your body through your breath. One can imagine the breath move from top to the spine. When breathing in, move the breath in your head and when breathing out, move it at the base of the spine. Do this ten times.

Depression and Physical Exercise

Exercising outside and under the sunshine can be a way to cure your depressive moods. A regular exercise 3 times a week can lift minds. Exercise has been proven to alter brain chemistry in a positive way.

Any exercise would do. A couple of running, some lifts and a gym appointment would do. Yoga exercises such as the pose of balasana (the child pose), uttanasana (forward bend), viparita karani (legs up a wall), marjariasana (cat pose) and backbends are very helpful in chasing the blues away.

Image Credit: Lst1984 via Flickr.