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Marisa Peer’s Food Tips

Marisa Peer
This week I am focusing on foods and supplements that fight depression. Depression is so debilitating and most people who feel depressed lose interest in food and certainly don’t feel like shopping for food let alone cooking it, however the right foods and supplements can have a very healing effect on depression so it’s worth taking the right vitamins and eating the foods that can make you feel so much better. Even if other people are cooking for you, you can add healing spices to your food and eat snacks that make you feel better by improving your brain chemistry.
  • Our body cannot make the essential fatty acids that our brains need we can only get them through foods that contains essential fatty acids. They are called essential for a reason as the brain needs them to function properly they are literally essential for our well being and for good mental health. You MUST eat either oily fish, avocados, olives or olive oil, natural (unsalted) nuts and seeds. You don’t need a lot, half an avocado, a few sardines, a handful of almonds or olives will be enough. You can find easy ways to put these foods into your diet by drizzling olive oil onto bread, spreading almond butter onto ryvita or apple slices, half an avocado on ryvita is perfect. Taking fish oil supplements is also a good idea.
  • Good antidepressant spices include anise, dill, marjoram, peppermint, nutmeg , saffron, spearmint and turmeric Peppermint or spearmint tea is a good way to take antidepressant spices. You can add Tumeric and Majoram to any soups stews or casseroles. Sprinkle dill onto any fish dish or onto scrambled eggs or omelettes. Nutmeg can be added to hot drinks or any breakfast cereals or yoghurt.
  • Serotonin is a great mood lifter that helps you to feel pleasure, foods that push up serotonin levels include coriander, eggs, poultry, bananas, avocados, pears, celery, dates and very dark 85% chocolate. Eat scrambled eggs or an omelette mixed with coriander a few mornings a week to get serotonin early in the day , roast chicken and turkey with coriander on the skin . Have mashed up banana and avocado on ryvita, snack on dates and pears. Vitamin B6 increases serotonin. A lack of vitamins B3, B6 and vitamin D are all linked to depression.
  • Take a magnesium supplement to lift your mood. Craving chocolate is a classic sign of low magnesium, magnesium rich foods include apples, parsley, fish, dates, avocados, brazil nuts and almonds.
  • Dopamine is essential to feeling happy, bananas are full of dopamine. You must eat some protein at every meal to keep dopamine levels high throughout the day so eggs for breakfast every day are good, you can have 3 eggs a day and remain healthy all the scare stories about them have been disproved. If you don’t want eggs have oats or yogurt but add nuts and seeds or a swirl of nut butter to push up your protein levels. Spices that increase dopamine levels are basil, cayenne pepper, chillies, black pepper, garlic and ginger. Flaxseeds, rosemary and sesame seeds also push up your dopamine levels.
From the list above pick out the foods that you like and include them in your diet and remember that some of the ones you think you don’t like can be hidden into soups and curries. As well as putting good foods into your diet there are some food products that should be removed from your diet as they increase depression and anxiety.
  • Sweeteners have been linked to depression, moodiness and anxiety they are made from petro chemicals and can have detrimental effect on brain chemistry
  • Sugar which is a refined processed non food also feeds anxiety and depression. Replace sugar and sweeteners with 'Z Sweet' which is a natural calorie free sweetener or use a little honey or agave nectar.
  • Margarine containing trans fats have been shown to disrupt the brains natural abilities so replace margarine with Pure a natural spread made from sunflower seeds or soya beans.
  • Excessive amounts of dairy are not good for depressed people because they can give the body too much calcium which is acidic and this disrupts the body’s ability to absorb essential fatty acids.
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