(ASL) Plant-Based Foods That Fight Depression

Standard American Diet (SAD) is a modern dietary pattern that is generally characterized by high intakes of animal meat, rich in red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, butter, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, eggs, refined grains, high-fructose corn syrup, high-sugar drinks. artificially sweetened and artificially flavored foods, high sodium (salt), and processed vegetable oils. A diet rich in whole food, plant-based like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts/seeds, whole grains has been shown to reduces the risk of depression. The SAD (Standard America Diet) may make children and adults feel sick, tired, sleepless, brain fog, gain weight, unhappy, suffer from depression, and not care about living anymore. Families which have no idea about nutrition, raise children as best they can. All highly processed foods, animal food products, boxed food, fast food, and junk food seem to be in constant supply and easily become addictive. They learn how to elevate their moods using food. Their favorite dinners often are mac and cheese, hotdogs, pepperoni cheese pizza, Oreos, etc. Individuals eating whole foods have reported fewer symptoms of depression compared to those who ate mostly processed foods. A whole-food, plant-based diet has been shown to save lives in many ways: improving mild or severe depression, reversing heart disease, reversing diabetes, weight loss from obesity to a healthy ideal weight, and causing dramatic health-improving transformations. The way it saves your life may be more discreet. Also, eating this way may kickstart you to face the depression, you have experienced since childhood. Imbalance of Neurotransmitters Depression can be due in some cases to inflammation in the brain and chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters. Plant-based foods are high in antioxidants and colors of phytochemicals, which generally help to repair damage and decrease inflammation in brain cells. In addition, plant-based foods can help restore balance to neurotransmitters. Tryptophan to Produce Serotonin The brain uses the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter largely responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. Plant-based sources of tryptophan include leafy greens, sunflower seeds, watercress, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, broccoli, and peas.  While meats such as turkey also contain the amino acid, the body can have a difficult time converting it to serotonin. Competition from other amino acids prevents tryptophan from entering the brain, resulting in low serotonin production. Plant-based eaters reported more positive moods than meat-eaters. A diet high in protein and animal foods can limit serotonin production. A healthy approach for ideal levels of tryptophan in the brain is to focus on plant proteins along with generous amounts of complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Quercetin. The phytochemical quercetin is found only in plant foods. Working much like a natural antidepressant, quercetin can increase the amount of serotonin (satisfaction), dopamine (alertness), and norepinephrine (attention) in the brain. Foods with high levels of quercetin include apples, kale, berries, grapes, onion, green tea and more. Arachidonic Acid. What does it mean? It is an inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid. High blood levels have been associated may trigger brain inflammation, mood disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress, hopelessness, depression, and a greater risk of suicide. Arachidonic acid is found in animal products, cholesterol and saturated fats like fatty red meats, poultry, eggs, and full-fat dairy. Individuals who eat diets high in complex carbohydrates and low in fats and protein tend to avoid foods high in arachidonic acid. Thus, eliminating animal foods may be associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression, and improving a happier, more positive mood. Omega-3 Fatty Acids While the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids are valid, evidence supports that a diet eliminates fish and all animal products are optimal for mood improvement. Since a well-planned plant-based diet contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body can convert into EPA and DHA, there is no need to consume it from animal sources. Plant sources of ALA include walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, seaweed, algae, and leafy green vegetables.  Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. These fatty acids are found in highly processed oils such as different types of vegetable oils. Start with Small Steps to Success Luckily, evidence suggests dietary changes can improve mood and quality of life without the need for medication. The plant-based diet is the best prescription to boost your mood, energy, and productivity while reducing your risk for chronic illnesses. You no longer seek to alter the state of mind through drugs, alcohol, and harmful foods.  Every day strive for optimal health and only consume foods that nourish you. Be excited to experiment with many different recipes and spices. And become astounded by the amazing variety of foods and flavors that are available with this way of eating. You will probably feel no diet restrictions This message of health is so powerful, everyone needs to hear it. People likely will not change overnight. It will take you some time to change, but you will shed the darkness that overwhelmed you and find a passion for healthfulness. Know that you are not alone. You can find happiness, improved mood, hope, health, energy, increasing physical activity, and love life. You are what you eat. If you are interested in transform to the plant-based diet, how to start and need some supportive, you can join my group called The group is welcome, but you have to answer 3 questions before approved.

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