Depression can affect ones eating habits and a common sign for depression is changes in appetite and weight. Eating healthy while being a university student can already be hard as it is, as many may not have the time to prepare healthy alternatives. I think everyone can relate, especially during exam season. As you can imagine, bad eating habits tend to intensify depression among individuals already suffering or it can lead to eating disorders such bulimia and anorexia nervosa1.
Some may have a decreased appetite and can lead to irregular eating patterns or others may have an appetite for unhealthy foods and gain weight. How do particular foods affect ones mood you ask? There are certain food items that directly affect the chemicals in your brain (neurotransmitters), eating patterns that affect blood sugar levels, which can both affect your mood levels1. This in turn can create vicious mood cycles and contribute to ones depression symptoms to reach its high.
Here are a few things to know that can help improve mood:
- Eat regular meals, especially breakfast (having a stable intake of blood sugar levels helps stabilize your mood and can prevent those unhealthy cravings!
- Carbohydrates (i.e., whole grains, fruits, vegetables), vitamins and minerals help the update of serotonin in the brain, lifting your mood
- Make sure you have a balanced intake of omega 3 & 6 oil, it also helps with mood
- Avoid crash dieting or over eating (especially very sugary foods!), it contributes to a vicious mood cycle
- Be aware of side effects of medications, some may increase or decrease ones appetite
- Exercise! This is the best way to stay fit and increase serotonin levels
Want more tips on healthy eating? Check out our colleagues at http://healthyu2015.blogspot.com/
~Joti, Humans of Depression Representative
Remember to follow Humans of Depression on the following platforms: