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Depression is a serious issue: Manage it with the right foods and lifestyle measures

Depression is a serious issue: Manage it with the right foods and lifestyle measures
The COVID-19 lockdown has made matters worse and the sense of isolation can wreak havoc with one’s mind. @Shutterstock

Building a strong connection to a social group helps clinically depressed patients recover and helps prevent relapse. But since this is not possible now, here are a a few other things that you can try.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Updated : June 18, 2020 11:00 AM IST

Recently, in Kerala, a woman who is undergoing depression placed an advertisement in the matrimonial section of a vernacular daily. Here she declared that she is taking medication for depression. This comes soon after the recent suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput, a talented Indian actor. Following the actors tragic end, a 10th standard fan took his own life. The actor was apparently undergoing treatment for depression. These developments bring into sharp focus the importance of mental health. Depression can be a debilitating condition where a person loses all interest in life. Also called clinical depression, this condition is very common now. The COVID-19 lockdown has made matters worse and the sense of isolation can wreak havoc with one's mind.

According to researchers at the University of Queensland, building a strong connection to a social group helps clinically depressed patients recover and helps prevent relapse. But in the current scenario where you are confined to your house because of lockdown restrictions, human contact is not possible. So, what do you do? You can always try to counter this with a proper diet and exercise.

Diet and depression

If you are depressed, you are likely to make unhealthy food choices. You tent to go more for comfort-foods like pizza, ice cream and French fries. But this is dangerous in the long-run. Instead go for nutrient-rich foods that will nourish both your body and mind. Avoid sugary or processed foods because it can make your depression and anxiety worse. Here are a few foods that can lift your mood.

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Go for colourful foods

Colourful foods have mood boosting properties. So eat a lot of red, orange, purple and green veggies and fruits.

Have more of omega-3s

Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet as it can help lift your spirits. For this munch on flax seeds, chia seeds or take a fish oil supplement.

Probiotics are important

Experts say that if you have a healthy gut, you will feel happy. So have some probiotics too. Fermented foods are also a good choice if you are depressed.

Add folic acid to your diet

Also add spinach and avocado to your diet because the folic acid in them can help ease depression.

Exercise helps too

There is nothing like a good workout to give you a mental boost. In fact, any physical activity can boost your mood. Exercise stimulates the feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Regular exercise can also encourage your brain to rewire itself in positive ways. You don't even have to go to the gym to achieve this. Just go for a walk every day, take up swimming, walk to the market instead of driving down, or do some housework. Anything that raises your heart rate will help.

Sleep well

A good night's sleep is the best medicine for depression. But this mental health condition can also make it difficult for you to get enough sleep. So, you need to take some measure to sleep well. Keep the light in your room dim, avoid distractions when you go to sleep and be relaxed. You can also try out meditation or listen to some music to calm your mind. Go to bed at the same time every night and try not to take a nap during the day.