How To Tackle Depression – Using The Paleo Diet
How Widespread is the Problem?
Depression is a serious illness that, according to the World Health Organisation, affects around 121 million people worldwide. Statistically women are more likely to suffer from a severe depression than men, with the average age for an attack of clinical depression being 32 years old.
There are many treatments out there to deal with this life-shattering illness, although in recent years sufferers have been seeing great benefit in looking towards alternative methods.
The Paleo diet is one of example of an alternative approach to alleviating the symptoms of the illness and one that has given great results for many people worldwide. So, if you’re seeking a natural and powerful way to tackle your depression it may well be worth experimenting with this approach.
There have been examples where sufferers have begun the Paleo diet whilst still taking medication for depression and felt such a shift in symptoms that they have been able to cease prescriptions. (Of course this is only advisable with the appropriate approval from a medical professional first).
How can Paleo Eating Help?
If you’re interested to know more, read on – here are the 4 main steps, which show how to tackle depression using the Paleo diet:
1. Cut out Foods that Cause Inflammation
Foods that contain processed and sugary carbohydrates cause inflammation in your body. As inflammation is known to be one of the leading causes of depression aim to reduce these and eventually cut them out entirely. They can be replaced with carbohydrates from healthy sources, such as fruit and vegetables instead.
Processed carbohydrates give you this ‘high and then low’ that you experience in your mood after eating. This can be avoided very simply by cutting them out and will be especially beneficial for depression sufferers.
2. Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods
It is well known amongst the scientific community that foods that are rich in Omega-3s are a great way to help your body fight inflammation the natural way. Fish provides a rich source of these anti-inflammatories – so make sure you get plenty of this into your diet.
Salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines are all excellent choices to help you boost your Omega-3s intake and over time increasing these Omega-3s should have excellent results in affecting mood and symptoms of depression.
3. Get Plenty of Antioxidants
Antioxidants strengthen your ability to fight infection and disease and also have important mood-boosting qualities, whilst also significantly improving mental functioning. Antioxidants are simply vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage.
There are 3 major antioxidant vitamins: Beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. These are found in abundance in colourful vegetables – especially those that are purple, red, orange, blue and yellow. To avoid spoiling the anti-oxidants eat these foods raw, or steamed as much as possible. This way maximum goodness will be left in the vegetables.
Excellent sources of Beta-carotene include, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, kale, turnips, collard greens, spinach, and tomatoes. Vitamin C is found in ample supply in berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, peas and tomatoes. Whilst Vitamin E is found in abundance in broccoli, carrots, chard, nuts, red peppers, spinach and sunflower seeds.
Broccoli – rich in Beta-carotene, Vitamin C and E!
Antioxidants can also be found in other foods: Zinc is found in oysters, red meat, poultry and seafood, whilst Selenium is found in brazil nuts, tuna, beef and poultry.
4. Eat Plenty of Protein
If you’re working to combat depression it’s important to eat plenty of foods containing protein. Foods rich in protein also contain amino acids. These amino acids assist growth, strength and repair inside your body –this also means inside your brain. Hence, eating plenty of protein rich foods is essential for a healthy functioning brain.
Salmon is an excellent source of protein.
Unlike starch and protein the body cannot store amino acids as fat. So it’s essential to get regular supply to ensure that you have enough. The best way to ensure this is to eat lots of lean meat, fish and eggs as part of your regular diet.
The benefits of going Paleo have already become clear to so many people suffering from depression and other illnesses of the mind– why not give it a try?