Depression affects 17 million Americans as well as women who experience PMS/PMDD. While it's common for everyone to feel down in the dumps from time to time, depression is more than just a case of the blahs. It can cause a loss of interest in otherwise pleasurable daily activities, including eating, sleeping, working, and even spending time with family and friends.
For some, depression is a severe chronic illness inherited from a family member or brought on by traumatic environmental or personal events. In the most severe cases, the depressed individual may require frequent psychotherapy and medication. For others, depression is a sporadic occurrence that can be treated or controlled by regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Regular exercise not only reduces stress and improves body image, but also increases the amount of pleasure-inducing endorphins in the brain. Even a mere 30 minutes a day can have a positive effect on brain chemistry.
Research indicates that a diet rich in folate and omega-3 fatty acids also may help prevent and control depression. Scientists have found that people with the least amount of folate in their bodies tend to be the most depressed. Studies have also shown that levels of the mood chemical serotonin can be regulated by maintaining a proper balance of omega-3s to omega-6s in the diet.
Try the following folate and omega-3 rich foods to help fight depression:
? Whole-grain breakfast cereals
? Tomato juice
? Canola oil
? Flax seeds