It is a sad fact that children’s mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, are increasing in younger ages. According to a study published in 2000 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of children on prescription mood-altering drugs has increased threefold over the past five years. More children are taking prescription drugs to either lift hem up or calm them down.
When we are feeling down, we seek emotional comfort in foods, specially ‘comfort’ foods such as candy bars, cakes, fast food, mac n cheese. These comfort foods are anything but comforting. The foods we think that can make us feel better, actually makes us feel worse, leaving us moody and fatigued. In schoolchildren, specially, these ‘comfort foods’ cause learning and behavioral problems and an increasing research is pointing to the Standard American Diet as being the culprit.
Studies have shown that for some individuals, diet can cause depression, according to Larry Christensen, Ph.D, chairman of the department of psychology at the University of South Alabama, “Consuming too much sugar or caffeine definitely contributes to feelings of depression”. What we eat influences our emotional health as well as what we don’t eat.
Extreme depression can be serious and often requires professional help and medication. Short of this serious mental illness, there are a lot of unhappy adults and children out there. Changes to diet should be in addition to, not instead of, getting the help needed.
Research has focused on the importance of getting the right balance of essential fatty acids, consuming more omega-3 fatty acids (fish, flaxseed, walnuts) and less omega-6 fatty acids (vegetable, canola and corn oil, packaged and processed foods). Other research has shown that a number of nutrients, among them vitamins B and C, and the minerals selenium, iron and zinc are deficient in people with depression.
Simple carbs such as sugary and starchy foods (white breads and rice, desserts, fast food, etc.), causes serotonin levels and blood sugar to rise rapidly and then fall back quickly impacting our moods leading to fatigue and depression. By contrast, complex carbohydrates are the good ‘carbs’ (whole grains, fruits and vegetables) that helps us maintain a balanced serotin level without spiking our blood sugar.
Healing fruits and vegetables
Research suggests that taking omega-3 supplements can do much to alleviate symptoms, particularly for people whose depression seems restiqtn to treatment. – Food Cures, Reader’s Digest
Healing juices and smoothies
Minimize or avoid processed foods such as chips and cookies, and limit oils high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as corn, safflower and sunflower. Keep in mind most fast food, packaged and processed foods contain omega-6 fatty acids.
Healing family clean recipes
Eat some turkey! Not only is a good source of brain-critical B vitamins, but it also contains good amounts of iron, selenium and zinc which seem to connected to alleviating depression.
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