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Video:How Do Eating Habits Affect Depression?

with Dr. Mike Abrams

Like other aspects of your life, diet can have a large effect on depression, both positively and negatively. This video from About.com will go over the ways in which diet affects depression.See Transcript

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Transcript:How Do Eating Habits Affect Depression?

Hi, I'm Dr. Mike Abrams, a clinical psychologist in New York and New Jersey and a psychology professor at New York University. I'm here for About.com to discuss ways in which your diet can affect mood and even depression.  

Well-Balanced Diets Help Fight Depression

Although diet doesn't treat depression, there is increasing evidence that certain foods can influence your moods. In general, a well balanced diet containing all necessary nutrients is important for a healthy mood. Thus, avoid too many fast foods, eating in excess or allowing yourself to become overly hungry. In addition, there are a few dietary changes that have been shown to help improve your mood and reduce the severity of depression.  

Different Foods That Help Your Mood

One mood lifter is the combination of carbohydrates with proteins containing the amino acid tryptophan. When proteins like turkey or soy, are consumed along with starches like pasta or potatoes, the tryptophan can more easily cross into the brain and elevate levels of serotonin. This effectively constitutes a non-pharmaceutical antidepressant. Of course, the effects are brief, but making this a daily part of your diet may help improve your humor.

In addition, increasing your intake of Omega-3 oils, like the oils found in certain fish, have been shown to benefit mood and concentration. In contrast, consuming a lot of foods containing transfats has been shown to correlate with an increased risk of depression.

Chocolate Can Help With Depression

Finally, it will not be a big surprise for many to find that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may affect your mood. Now it is not necessary to splurge on chocolate bars to lift your spirits. Unsweetened cocoa powder mixed in foods or a hot-chocolate will do just as well to affect the way you feel.

That was a little about the relationship between some foods and depression. To learn more, please visit About.com. Thanks for watching.

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