It’s not uncommon that when we get “down in the dumps”, we head to the kitchen in an attempt to drown our sorrows out with food. Often, the food we choose is sugar-packed or fattening- also known as “comfort food”. Although those kinds of food makes us feel better while we are eating them, believe it or not, they leave us feeling worse off than before we ate them.
The Tasty and Healthy Alternative
Try this for a serotonin increase… Avocados. Eating away your sorrows does not have to be a bad thing, IF you choose the right kinds of food. The right kinds of food not only treat depression, but can also prevent it. Avocados contain the amino acid, tryptophan, which is compounded once it enters our body into serotonin. The unique feature about tryptophan according to research is that our bodies do not produce it.
Avocados also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can be beneficial in lessening depression. It is important in preventing cell death associated with brain inflammation that ultimately can be a cause of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids, like tryptophan, do not derive naturally from the body. Therefore, they need to be derived from dietary sources, including fish. According to Alan C. Logan of the Integrative Care Centre of Toronto, clinical evidence conducted in research studies shows depressed patients appear to have low omega-3. Along with omega-3, avocados contain folate, and small amounts of protein and vitamin B-6- all of which can aid in preventing depression.
Music to Your Ears
I once read a quote that stated, ‘When you’re happy you enjoy the music but when you’re sad you understand the lyrics’. So true! It’s quite common (and normal) for most people to gravitate toward ‘the blues’ whenever they are feeling down. And although music is good for the soul, it can be harmful in this case since singing ‘the blues’ can cause one’s feelings to fall deeper into a pit of stink. Music is recommended for mild cases of depression, particularly those cases in which you may be going through a temporary set-back (a break-up, lost job, etc). Pop in your favorite album or load up your favorite songs on your mp3 device and play them until you start to dance! It’s important to “trick” the brain into thinking that it’s having a good time.
Speaking of “tricking” the brain, it has been proving that smiling actually tricks the brain into thinking you are happy. David Lewis, a psychologist and director of research at Mindlab International in Brighton, England, says a warm smile can help us "feel more optimistic, more positive, and more motivated”. Yes, I know. You’re down and the last thing you feel like doing is putting on a fake smile. But, it may not be as hard as you think. Muster up the strength to hang out with some friends or watch your favorite comedy movie and feel your mood increase. The hardest part is actually getting up to do it. But, whatever you do, try not to willingly stay in a funk for too long before you decide to take some action, for ‘this too shall pass’.
Take that, depression!
So, the next time you feel depressed or down, think twice about grabbing that piece of cake or curling into a fetal position in a funk! Grab some avocados, and maybe whip up some guacamole. Blast your music and dance like there’s no one watching, or laugh until your stomach hurts! The key is to take control over your emotions, before they take control over you. Until next time… Live well.
Photo credit: Stuck in Customs / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
On Granny's Cures we strive to provide information from credible sources but we are no substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.