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Depression is a chronic disease that causes changes in an individual’s disposition, behavior, thoughts and physical health. It affects a large part of the world population. In addition to the biological factors intrinsic to each individual, food and lifestyle have been implicated in the physiology of the disease. Although the disease is characterized by changes in lifestyle, including eating habits, the relationship between food and specific vitamins and minerals with the prevention of pathology has also been studied.

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Vitamin Deficiency & Depression

Food is directly related to the disease and some foods can aggravate the symptoms, mainly because they cause inflammation in the body and brain, which has been proven to have a connection with depression such as:

  • Sugar;
  • Refined carbohydrates.
  • Processed foods.
  • Trans fats.

A reduced intake of foods with high nutritional value, such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts, fish, eggs, meat and dairy products can cause an inadequate supply of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, vitamins B6, B9 and B12, as well as amino acids and essential fatty acids. When the food does not contain the listed nutrients, there is a change in the level of functioning of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and with changes in oxidative stress, these mechanisms have been studied as being related to depression, which points to a plausible relationship between this disease and food.

Another important point of note is related to vitamin D deficiency. Several studies have shown that the lower the vitamin level, the greater the chances of developing depression. Exposure to the sun is necessary for synthesis to occur. In Ireland, the lack of sunlight means it is necessary to increase the intake of foods rich in the vitamin, such as fish, chia, nuts, and in some cases supplementation is necessary.

With this, adequate nutrition will provide the appropriate vitamins and minerals, which can prevent or assist in the treatment of the disease.

Important Foods:

-Fruits: Avocado, banana, and lemon because they are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin,

-Eggs and meats as they are an excellent source of B vitamins.

-Leguminous, soy mainly, as it is an excellent source of magnesium.

-Seafood and nuts, as they are sources of zinc.

Article by Lisiane Giusti Nutritionist

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