Although the foods you eat cannot treat depression, your diet does have significant effects on your mood, energy levels, mental health, and your ability to cope with stress.
If you suffer from depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), certain dietary changes can help you get well when combined with a treatment program outlined by your health care provider.
Talk to Your Health Care Provider
Be open and honest when discussing your symptoms and feelings. Because depression can have many underlying causes, your doctor should perform a complete physical and also check the following:
Thyroid. The thyroid gland controls yours metabolism but indirectly affects your mood. An overactive thyroid can make you feel anxious and irritable, while an under-active thyroid can cause sluggishness, exhaustion, loss of appetite, weight gain, and hair loss.
Iron levels. Low iron stores can alter your mood, cause fatigue and difficulty concentrating, and decrease mental alertness.
Use of oral contraceptives. Birth control pills can also shift hormone levels and alter mood swings, depression, and fatigue.
Sleeping habits. Changes in your sleeping patterns and the quality of your sleep can be closely related to your mood. A lack of sleep can cause many symptoms similar to those of depression.
If your doctor diagnoses you with clinical depression, work with her to develop a treatment plan that suits your lifestyle and discuss what role nutrition might play, especially if you receive prescription medications. The following guidelines are not cures for depression, but they are things to consider along with your treatment program.