Mood elevating foods- “Anti-depressant foods”

                          “I feel so low and depressed.” We all have said this line to someone or to ourselves at some point in life. We all are so caught up in the daily hustle bustle that we do not realise we are killing our own desires and in turn getting sad and depressed.

                         Depression is known to be one of the most prevalent of the emotional disorders. It is said to be far more difficult to cope with than a physical ailment. Depression is increasing in the society just like any other wide spread disease but diet changes can help. Yes, it is now firmly established that  diet has a profound effect on mood. Serotonin is one of the brain’s most remarkable neurotransmitters and foods seem to manipulate mood by effecting serotonin. Eating foods that tend to deplete serotonin in the nervous system can cause depression or bad mood while choosing foods that lead to normal amount of serotonin in the brain can help elevate mood (Bakhru, 2007).

Lets take a look @ some foods that help elevate our mood:

Apple:  Apple is a sub-acid fruit which contains abundance of vitamins and minerals. Apple is part of this anti-depressant family because it is shown that its content of vitamin B1, phosphorous and potassium help in the synthesis of glutamic acid and glutamic acid controls the wear and tear of the nerve cells. According to the naturopathic experts, this fruit when taken with milk and honey, acts as a very effective nerve tonic and helps recharge the nerves with energy thus elevating moods in case of depression (Bakhru, 2007). 

Asparagus Root: This vegetable is very valuable due to its salt, vitamins and cellulose content. This is an alkaline vegetable. Asparagus is very nutritious and a good tonic for the nerves and the brain. The root of asparagus is shown to possess anti-depressant properties thus helps in elevating moods. Naturopaths recommend this as an effective herbal remedy for depression and other mental disorders (Bakhru, 2007).

Cardamom: Cardamom, known as “Queen of Spices”, is one of the most valued spices in the world. Cardamom contains volatile oil that contributes to its aroma and therapeutic properties. According to naturopaths, cardamom is a mood elevating food and decoction of cardamom has been found valuable in overcoming depression (Bakhru, 2007; pp 28).

Cashewnut: Cashewnut is said to be valuable for both physical as well as mental health. It is known to be a valuable food for general depression and nervous weakness. Cashewnut contains vitamin of the B group, especially thiamine,and thus helps stimulate the appetite and the nervous system. It is rich in riboflavin which is shown to help keep the body active, cheerful and full of energy(Bakhru, 2007). 

Garlic: Many researchers who studied garlic for its effect on blood and cholesterol also noticed that those who ate garlic experienced a definite lift in mood. This was also noted by a German researcher at the University of Hanover. He tested a special garlic preparation on people with high cholesterol. According to the questionnaires, the garlic eater felt  much better after the garlic therapy. The people experienced less fatigue, anxiety, agitation, irritability and sensitivity. Garlic’s mood elevating power can be attributed to its high selenium content and its antioxidant activity(Bakhru, 2007,pp 30).

Green Vegetables: Leafy green vegetables contain folic acid which is a B vitamin. The medical authorities believe that folic acid or folate deficiency, especially among women can lead to psychiatric disorders. Folic acid is also found in whole grain cereals and nuts. Dr. Young of McGill University accumulated enough evidence to show that folic acid deficiency can contribute to depressed mood and correcting that deficiency can often cure the condition (Bakhru, 2007,pp 30).

Honey: According to the naturopathic experts, honey is one of the best remedies for mental and physical tension. The levulose, dextrose and other sugar contents of honey are shown to provide instant energy and make one feel active and stimulated after its ingestion. According to the naturopathy experts,  honey should be taken in the morning along with some almonds soaked overnight (Bakhru, 2007,pp 31).

Lemon Balm: This herb plant belongs to the mint family. This plant is considered to be an anti-depressant food and has been successfully used as a remedy for mental depression. Lemon balm is shown to ease brain fatigue & help lift the heart from depression. According to the naturopathic experts, a cold infusion of lemon balm is shown to be very helpful in calming the nerves (Bakhru, 2007,pp 31).

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, advice on diet, herb and exercise.**

References: 

1.Bakhru, H.K. (2007). Healing through natural foods. Mumbai, India: Jaico publishing house.

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