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Diet and Depression – Nutrition and Daily Meals

Nutritional influences can affect on mood since certain foods affect neurotransmitters in the brains and contribute in our feelings. We are talking about the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, (nor) adrenaline and endorphins. A shortage of these brain chemicals may lead to a variety of symptoms, including sad feelings. In addition, depressed people tend to eat less healthy as they can also cause depression.

Neurotransmitters / hormones / amino acids that can be influenced by diet


The neurotransmitter serotonin is also called the ‘feel good’ hormone called as the next a positive feeling and a good sleeping pattern for a good memory, a good bowel movement and ensures the correct pressure. Through the amygdala, a brain region affects serotonin our emotions.

By evening serotonin is converted into melatonin, the hormone that affects the sleep-wake rhythm. Serotonin, in turn, created from the protein tryptophan which is mainly located in the following foods: milk, curd, cheese, yogurts, cottage cheese, meat, chicken, shellfish, squid, egg, banana, almonds, (pecan) nuts , pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, plums, tropical fruits, sesame seeds, cereals, brown rice, dates and lentils.

Chocolate contains tryptophan probably insufficient to increase serotonin in our body to bring about. Tryptophan is only really included in the brains when something sweet to eat. In order to serotonin from tryptophan to be formed are sufficient amount of vitamin B (including folic acid) and C, and the minerals iron, zinc and magnesium. Many people who are depressed appear to have a folic acid deficiency. Excessive concentrations of serotonin can cause restlessness and concentration problems.

Dopamine and norepinephrine

The neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine cause a feeling of reward and incentive to work. They provide an alert and happy feeling and improve memory and performance. A shortage of dopamine may be needed to ingestion of alcohol, caffeine, smoking and drugs as they arise for an increase of dopamine and noradrenaline worry.

Nicotine increases dopamine has a temporary effect what a wonderful feeling, but is followed by a stronger need for dopamine / nicotine. If this need is not satisfied, a restless, irritated and annoyed feeling so arise where there is a nicotine addiction. Smoking also causes an increase in cortisol which reduces the absorption of tryptophan. A high dose of caffeine makes adrenaline and leads to stress.

Norepinephrine has a strong stimulating effect and leads to aggression rather than fear compared with adrenaline. Noradrenaline is formed by dopamine. Coffee (caffeine), cocoa (theobromine) and tea (theophylline) strengthen the receptors for norepinephrine and cause a stimulant effect. People with depression have a deficiency of noradrenaline.
An increase of dopamine and noradrenaline can also be associated with unpleasant feelings such as palpitations, anxiety and fear. Vitamin B6 and magnesium are essential for the production of dopamine.


Endorphins are our body’s natural painkillers, which cause a great feeling and therefore what can be addictive. Endorphins are created during eating sugars / fats at orgasm, when laughing, deep breathing, meditation and exercise.


Phenylethylamine in large quantities produced by the brains in love and is also called the “love peptide called. It causes a euphoric feeling to happy. Foods that contain phenylethylamine are chocolate, cheese and red wine. At too high concentrations of this substance are feelings of nervousness and paranoia observed accompanied by sweaty palms, rapid breathing and heart palpitations. Phenylethylamine belongs to the family of amphetamine, a lack of it is an important factor in depression.


Tyrosine is an amino acid and the precursor of norepinephrine. Foods that contain this amino acid are: fruit, fish, nuts (trail mix), seeds, beef, sauerkraut, dairy and grains.

Food, Diet and Depression

Coffee, tea and cola

all three products containing caffeine-like substances with a stimulating effect resulting in an increase of adrenaline in the blood takes place as a sort of stress reaction. Such a reaction is accompanied by a raised feeling that generally followed by a feeling of fatigue. Coffee also shows important minerals and trace elements in the urine drain since it is a diuretic effect. When anxiety and sleep disorders is better not to drink coffee because people who suffer this kind of disorder often more sensitive to respond.


Chocolate has a stimulant effect, contains very much sugar and too much saturated fat. It is also rich in magnesium and polyphenols, which reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis and contains phenylethylamine, a precursor of norepinephrine, which antidepressant works. Dark chocolate with the highest content of cocoa, in particular, would be able to have a good effect.


Alcohol creates a dopamine increase and the production of new cells. Red wine also contains antioxidants which protect against cell death. Excessive drinking leads to a destruction of brain cells and lead to degeneration. Furthermore, alcohol extracts moisture from the body through which vital minerals lost through the urine.


Carbohydrates (sugars and starches) can increase the uptake of tryptophan which will be created extra serotonin. But take care with carbohydrates that are quickly in the blood are recognized as the effect be of short duration and may be even opposite. Sugar provides an imbalance in the body and is tired. Carbohydrates in the form of pulses, rice and other whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals that affect the production of the above mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.


Antioxidants are found in large quantities in fruits and vegetables and ensure that free radicals in our bodies be made ​​harmless by allowing our (brain) cells are not damaged.

Fats / fatty acids

The vast majority of our brains is composed of fat, in particular of DHA, which is in omega-3 unsaturated fatty located. Most people eat mostly saturated fat, giving our cell walls, which consist largely of fat, harden. This allows the cell to function and will eventually die. Saturated fat and / or an overdose of omega 6 fats lead to a high risk of diseases and cell degeneration. Containing Omega 3 fats reduce the risk of disease, inflammation and cell death is correct, keep our brains in good condition and can reduce depressive symptoms. Omega 3 fats are in: fish (herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines and eels), shellfish, game meat / poultry, flaxseed oil, fish oil, olive oil, seeds, nuts (not peanuts), seeds, nuts and soy. Omega 3 EPA and DHA, which constitutes an improvement of memory and an enhanced sensitivity to neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine worry.


This artificial sweetener can reduce the production of serotonin and dopamine concentration decrease.

Last but not least, add some comments about diet and depression, and tell us if you feel the same way.

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