According to Dr. Karina Martinez-Mayorga, leader of the research team that has released a report to the American Chemical Society, molecules in chocolates, berries and a variety of other foods, have a positive effect on mood. This is great news for people who have been looking for an excuse to eat more chocolate. Before you rush out to the store to stock up on Hershey’s bars and M&Ms, there are some things that you should know.
1.What Causes Depression?
Conventional wisdom has told us that depression and other mood disorders are caused by an imbalance of serotonin in the brain. In recent years, doctors have been quick with a pen, anxious to write prescriptions for mood-altering drugs. New studies are now showing that an imbalance in serotonin may not be the only cause of depression, if it’s the cause at all. Interesting studies are showing that depression may actually be related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body.
2.Is All Chocolate Equal?
While chocolate has been shown to help improve and stabilize mood, not all chocolate is created equal. If you are looking to perk yourself up, reach for a bar of dark chocolate instead of that bowl of brownie batter. Dark chocolate contains higher amounts of monoamine oxidase inhibitors, anandamine and B vitamins, each of which help to increase mood and alleviate depression. Milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate contain more milk and less cocoa, rendering them less effective than the dark variety.
3.Other Foods That Help Fight Depression
When you’re looking to alleviate the symptoms of your depression, consider what you’re putting on your plate. Brown rice, brewer’s yeast, whole-grain oats, cabbage and nuts are great options for those battling with mood disorders. These foods tend to be higher in B vitamins and folic acid than other foods, both of which have a positive effect on mood.
4.Foods to Avoid
Just as certain foods can have a positive effect on your mood, there are foods that can make your mood worse. Any foods that are high in fat and sugar should be avoided when possible. These foods can cause destabilization in blood sugar, wreaking havoc on your mood. You should also avoid tobacco products, caffeine and a diet comprised of high amounts of carbohydrates if you want to keep your depression in check.
5.What Else Can You Do?
According to medical professional, there are other things that you can do to combat your depression naturally. Make sure that you get plenty of natural sunshine, exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at least three times per week, supplement your diet with a vitamins and minerals, and do your best to find ways to laugh. These things are all natural mood elevators and are quite easy to do on your own.
If you are fighting depression, you may not need prescription medication to control your mood. Before you decide to take a mood-altering drug, consider trying more natural forms of mood stabilizers. Many people find that small changes in diet, a new exercise regimen and nutritional supplementation are enough to elevate their mood on a permanent basis.