07/06/2017

Diet vs depression. 10 foods that can be useful with depression treatment


Of course, it is now recognized that our diet affects our physical and mental health. It is known that chronic depression is related to long-term deficiencies in some nutrients, which results in disorders in the functioning of the neurotransmitter system. One of the neurotransmitters is serotonin and its deficiency may contribute to an increased risk of depression. Modern diet rich in highly processed products rich in simple carbohydrates, saturated fatty acids, trans-fats, a diet low in vitamins and minerals may increase the risk of developing depression. In addition, the highest rates of mental health ilnesses are observed in medium and high developed countries, which can also be linked to high-processed diets. In addition, high Body mass Index (over 30) increases the risk of depression or the symptoms by 50-150%. Dietary treatment can be an effective aid in the treatment of depression


Wheat, milk allergy
From the reports of Alan Gettis from the School of Medicine and Surgeons of the University of Colombia that food can affect our mental health. Hypersensitivity to certain nutrients can cause the appearance or aggravation of such mental symptoms as depression or anxiety. Prof. Talal Nsouli, an allergy specialist from Georgetown University's medical department, has found that chronic fatigue can largely be attributed to food allergies, particularly to wheat and milk. 

Cholesterol
Cholesterol deficiency: There is evidence that cholesterol deficiency can somehow promote the development of depressive conditions in the elderly. Dr. Elisabeth L. Barrett- Connor from the University of San Diego, California, studied a group of men over the age of 70. Those with low cholesterol have a significantly higher rate of depression (16%) than their peers with normal or higher levels (3%). Why can this happen? Dr. Barrett - Connor claims that low cholesterol can reduce serotonin levels in brain tissue, leading to symptoms of depression and aggression.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important in an illness such as depression. Their proper participation in the diet will ensure the proper formation of myelin sheath, regulated flow of neurotransmitters. Low intake of omega-3 acids that can be found in fish, seafood, rapeseed oil, flax seed, nuts or pumpkin seeds.

Vitamin D
With the advent of winter in the population living above 33 parallels, there is an increased incidence of depression. This may be related to insufficient vitamin D. It is known that this vitamin is 90% synthesized in the skin by sunlight. There is little food in it, therefore supplementation is recommended.

Caffeine
Dr. Melvin Konner from Emory University notes that new research into brain physiology supports the importance of caffeine as a mild antidepressant and sees no harm in its application if depression is light and doesn't require intensive treatment. Daily consumption of coffee should not exceed 400mg of caffeine equal to 4 cups of espresso. But remember that caffeine is also found in tea, energy drinks, coca cola, chocolate. It can be stated that low doses of caffeine can improve mood and well-being, too much can be harmful.

Folic acid
Folic acid deficiency can aggravate mental disorders such as depression, memory disorders. Dr Young of McGill University has conducted research on the effect of folic acid on mood and noted that most of its patients suffering from depression have deficiencies in this component. In addition, such people showed more drowsiness, memory problems and increased nervousness.

Selenium
Ensuring proper supply of selenium in people with depression is extremely important. A study of 50 healthy men and women showed that selenium supplementation visibly improved their well-being, had more energy, were less fearful or tired. The study showed that the mood improved visibly with sufficient supply. In addition, the higher the deficiency of this component, the greater was the later improvement. Brazil nuts are an exceptionally good source of selenium. One already provides daily needs.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
In people with depression can also be observed decreased levels of vitamin B12. Together with folic acid deficiency, they are the causative agents of drug-induced depression. Inclusion of cobalamin in combination with folic acid in therapy may contribute to susceptibility to antidepressants. The recommended dose is at the beginning of 1000mg per day and after 2 weeks to 500g per day and after 200mg. The insufficient amount of this vitamin in the diet often also involves high levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is the cofactor cobalamin which allows for the conversion of homocysteine back to methionine.

Tryptophan
Serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter that improves mood. Produced from tryptophan or an exogenous amino acid, which we take with food. In order for tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier, insulin is needed. What can be the symptoms of deficiency? For example, depression, aggression, headaches, anxiety, feeling cold, insomnia, and many others. The causes of serotonin deficiency are not enough sun, diabetes, iron deficiency, magnesium, folic acid, alcohol abuse, badly balanced vegan diet, consumption of sweeteners rich foods - aspartame.

Chilli
Capsaicin contained in chillis can stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. When eating hot foods, we stimulate our nerve endings on the tongue, which causes our body to send a signal to the brain such as burns or trauma, and to relieve it exerts an endorphin-releasing pain..

Sugar
Both the excessive supply of simple carbohydrates or too little affects our body. When the sugar falls rapidly, the brain does not get the right amount of fuel. Optimal levels of sugar are essential for the production of neurotransmitters including serotonin.

Dark chocolate
If sweets improve mood, then the safest is dark chocolate. Contains not only large amounts of magnesium but also iron, zinc, selenium and folic acid.

Maybe herbal medicine?
Applying herbal medicine along with proper diet can help with treatment. It is important to ask the pharmacist or doctor if the product does not react with prescribed medications and ask for dosage. Products that can help: Bacopa monnieri, St John's wort, saffron, ashwaghanda, adaptogens




References:

  • Majkutewicz P., Tyszko P., Okręglicka K: Leczenie żywieniowe depresji, Family Medicine&Primary Care Review 2014;16, 1:48-50
  • Ross BM. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in major depressive disorder is caused by the interaction between diet and genetically determined abnormality in phospholipid metabolism. Med Hypothes 2007; 68: 515-524
  • Harbottle L, Schonfelder N. Nutrition and depression: a review of the evidence. J Ment Health 2008; 17(6):576-587
  • Penckofer S, Kouba J, Byrn M. Vitamin D and depression: where is the sunshine? Iss Ment Health Nurs 2010; 89:940-945
  • Pynnonen PA, Isometsa ET, Verkasalo MA, et al. Gluten – free diet may alleviate depressive and behavioural symptoms in adolescents with celiac disease: a prospective follow – up case – series srydy. BMP Psychiatry 2005; 5:14
  • Simon GE, Rohde P, Ludman EJ, et al. Association between change in depression and change in weight among women enrolled in weight loss treatment. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2010; 32: 583-589

03/06/2017

Butternut squash, lentil and spinach soup - low calorie and boosting your immune system.


Butternut squash, lentil and spinach soup is a good option for those who want to loose weight. Rich in vitamins and minerals (especially B vitamins, folic acid, iron). In addition, it is a source of protein and dietary fiber. A large amount of seasoning makes the soup is tasty but also can boost our immune system!

Ingredients for 4 servings:
  • 500g butternut squash (after peeling)
  • 150g spinach
  • 150g red lentils
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Liter of broth
  • teaspoon of cumin 
  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of ginger
  • Half a teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Half a teaspoon of chillies
  • Half lime juice
  • salt pepper


Method:
In a large saucepan, heat a teaspoon of rapeseed oil and add chopped garlic, cumin, nutmeg, ginger, chillis, cinnamon and fry for a few minutes. Add diced pumpkin and lentil and broth and bring to a boil. Boil on low heat for about 30 minutes, until the pumpkin and lentil soften. Add the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes until the spinach "fades". Season with lime, salt and pepper.



01/06/2017

3 ingredients kiwi ice cream - low calorie dessert, easiest thing to do


My post has never been so short. 

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 3 kiwi
  • 300ml of natural yoghurt
  • 3 teaspoons of honey


Method:
Blend all ingredients. Freeze. 




30/05/2017

Pasta with prawns and sun-dried tomatoes - ultra quick healthy lunch


Sun dried tomatoes do not lose much nutritional value during the drying process. Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants, lycopene and vitamin C and the drying process will not negatively affect these properties. Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil with rosemary, garlic or other herbs are very easy to find. I have never tried to dry the tomatoes myself, it always seemed to me very time consuming. I might be wrong. Anyway, in my recipe I used tomatoes in olive oil.

Ingredients:
  • 250g of pasta
  • 200g of dried tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • onion
  • Bunch of green parsley
  • 150g prawns
  • A teaspoon of rapeseed oil
  • Pepper, chilli


Method:

Fry the finely chopped onion and then chopped garlic using rapeseed oil. Add chopped dried tomatoes and prawns. Season it well with chilli and pepper. Cook the pasta. Strain and mix with fried prawns and chopped parsley.




28/05/2017

Banana - walnut chia pudding - a rich source of fiber


Another recipe of chia pudding. I do not know how about you but I love these little grains. I always thought I had to cook them. What was my surprise when I found out you just need to mix them with milk. Just remember to add right amount of liquid. 

Ingredients for 2 servings:
  • 1/5 cup chia seed
  • 4/5 cup of milk
  • banana
  • Flat spoon of peanut butter
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric


A method of preparing:
Mash banana with a fork and mix with turmeric and peanut butter. Add seeds and pour the milk. Let stand for a while then mix again. Repeat it few times and put it to refrigerator overnight.




19/05/2017

Chocolate millet flakes porridge, idea for breakfast.


Millet flakes can be used to cook delicious porridge. It works very well with food intolerances like celiac disease. Contains a lot of B vitamins and micronutrients, especially manganese. I encourage you to try a variety of groats and cereals to make a difference in your morning porridge and your diet.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 8 tablespoons of millet flakes
  • 500ml of milk
  • 20g of dark chocolate over 75% cocoa
  • 80g of prunes
  • Stevia or honey to taste
  • cinnamon

Method:

Cook millet flakes with milk and cinnamon together. Let stand for a few minutes then mix with honey, chocolate and chopped dried plums.




18/05/2017

Nausea during pregnancy, how to deal with it? Recipe for a healthy snack.


Nausea and sickness during pregnancy affects up to 85% of women. How to deal with this? Are there any domestic non-invasive ways to reduce these ailments? There is a lot of research into the beneficial effects of ginger, which has reduced symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. How can we eat ginger? May be added to savoury foods or sweet snacks or tea. Below you can find a recipe containing ginger and other valuable ingredients, with no added sugar. 

Ingredients (about 5 servings)

  • Big carrot
  • Half a cup of dates
  • Half a cup of porridge oats
  • Half a glass of pecan nuts
  • A spoon of peanut butter
  • Spoon of coconut oil or butter
  • A teaspoon of ginger
  • A teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • Desiccated coconut to cover

Method:
Grate the carrot. Chop pecan nuts and dates. Mix everything (except dessicated coconut) with a mixer or blender. Then form small balls that are then cover them using dessicated coconut.