For milder cases of depression, something as simple as improving your diet can have a profound effect on how you feel. The old saying “Eat Better, Feel Better” actually has a lot of validity when it comes to mental health improvement. Depression and diet can have a cause and effect relationship that can go both ways. A poor diet can negatively impact the severity of depression, and conversely, depression can poorly influence healthy eating habits. Proper nutrition is a key component to living a fruitful and well balanced life that have a host of benefits for the body and the mind.
Negative Impacts of Depression on Nutrition
There are a number of ways in which depression can adversely affect dietary habits. Sometimes it can cause loss of appetite, or the opposite, over indulgence. It can also have secondary affects with fluid intake such as not drinking enough proper fluids or even alcohol abuse.
It is quite common for those going through a depressive episode to neglect to take care of themselves in some fashion, and diet is no exception. Not feeling like eating, or taking the minimum amount of effort to fix something easy and quick to eat can lead to nutrient deficiency. Eating a lot of “comfort food” that is not particularly nutritious can lead to problems over time as well. Some folks going through depression may also over indulge in fatty foods or sweets to help cope with their feelings.
How Proper Nutrition Can Help
While proper eating and dietary habits are not a cure for depression, it can help lessen some of the symptoms and it is recommended by some doctors as part of their overall treatment. Being at a healthy weight and proper eating can have subtle benefits that can help those trying to get through their depression.
WebMd has a great write up on diet and depression tips for those looking for help and which foods, vitamins and nutrients can be most beneficial.
But I Don’t Feel Like Cooking
This is a common problem for those stuck in the middle of being depressed. You just don’t feel like doing anything and the last thing you may seem to want to do is cook a healthy meal. There are, however, easy ways around this with simple, time efficient recipes that can enable you to prepare a fast and healthy meal. The key, at the start, is to find things that don’t seem like much of a hassle. You want to find convenient ways to develop healthy eating habits. Preparing homemade meals is the important because you have control over the ingredients and you create dishes that are not only good for you, but they will be something that you enjoy eating.
Toaster ovens are perfect for this task. If you haven’t looked lately, today’s countertop ovens have really come a long way and they are not just for toast any more. They have full cooking, baking, broiling and, of course, toasting functionalities. The beauty of these smaller ovens is they take less time to preheat, cooking time is usually slightly less and the food comes out just about as evenly done as a full sized oven. Not only do they save time, but they also save on energy consumption. These can be really helpful in the kitchen and help the quality of your diet.
With a good oven it is possible to cook healthy, save time and have something that can benefit both your physical and mental health. It is something very simple, but it is usually the small things that can create the biggest changes.
Importance of Hydration
While it is easy to neglect the quality of the food that you while depressed, it is also possible to ignore getting the right amount of fluids. Over consumption of sugary drinks or alcoholic beverage can also make matters worse. Staying properly hydrated is just as important as eating correctly.
Those suffering through any sort of depression should pay closer attention on their current diet. Improvements in this are can have very helpful benefits in a wide variety of ways for the body. Below is a fantastic video showing the results of new research about the link between depression and implementing an improved diet.