5 Foods That Worsen Depression

We are what we eat”

We dig our graves with our own teeth”

Chances are that you have heard both of these statements at least once in your life. These statements are not folk lore because science has proven that both of these statements are true.

Whatever we eat on regular basis directly impacts our physical and mental health. The quality and quantity of our diet greatly determines our weight, health of our organs and even our mood.

Years of research has shown that there are certain foods which are not good particularly for people suffering from depression as they tend to worsen your mood. This article will shed some light on 5 most common foods that are not good for depression patients.

1. Processed and Simple Carbs

Processed carbs and junk foods are generally considered comfort foods as they give you a sense of satisfaction and relaxation. However, these feelings only last for few minutes and what follows them is a long episode of irritation and feeling drained.

All of this happens because processed and simple carbs quickly convert in to glucose in our blood stream and provide us a sudden rush of energy. However, this energy rush ends in 20 minutes and is followed by a sudden drop in your blood sugar level which makes you feel lethargic and irritated for hours. This condition is particularly bad for people who are already suffering from depression.

2. Artificial Sweeteners

If simple carbs and sweets are bad for you then artificial sweeteners are even worst. Aspartame, the main ingredient in these sweeteners is known to decrease the production of mood boosting hormones (serotonin) in our brain. Regular intake of artificial sweeteners can also cause dizziness and headaches. As you know that these are all symptoms of depression and a person who is already suffering from this mental condition will only end up feeling worst.

3. Alcohol

To put it in simple words, alcohol is a depressant. A lot of people suffering from depression turn to alcohol as it makes you forget about your worries for a brief period of time. However, alcohol abuse can seriously impact your judgment and it has also shown to induce suicidal thoughts in people suffering from depression.

On the other hand, alcohol abuse has a bad impact on the liver’s ability to metabolize anti-depressants and can enhance the side effects of these medicines.

4. Caffeine

Too much caffeine intake is another silent killer for people suffering from depression. Drinking caffeinated drinks before going to bed can disrupt your sleeping pattern and can make you cranky. This crankiness leads to stressfulness which easily leads to depression.

Energy drinks are even worse for depression patients as a regular can of such drink can contain as much as 14 coffee cups worth of caffeine. Your best bet is to keep your caffeine intake to a maximum of 1 cup of coffee / tea per day.

5. Fish With High Levels of Mercury

Due to environmental pollution and toxic industrial waste being dumped in to oceans, there is a lot of mercury content found in fish. Latest scientific research has shown that eating foods that contain traces of mercury can worsen the symptoms of depression and can also lead to suicidal thoughts.

Bigger fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and bigeye tuna are found to have higher ratio of mercury in them.

On the other hand, it is also a fact that omega 3 fatty acids found in fish are really good for mental health and doctors recommend at least 2 to 3 servings of fish per week to people suffering from depression. So in order for you to fulfill your need for omega 3’s, you should go for smaller fish that have lower mercury content in them such as:

  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Tilapia
  • Cod
  • Catfish

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