Nutrition can play a key role both in the onset, severity, and duration of depression, including daily mood swings. Many of the food patterns that precede depression are the same food patterns that occur during depression. These patterns may include skipping meals, poor appetite, and a desire for sweets. People who follow extremely low carbohydrate diets also run the risk of feeling depressed or blue, because the brain chemicals that promote a feeling of well-being, tryptophan and serotonin, are triggered by carbohydrate rich foods. These brain chemicals are influenced by what we eat, and are linked to our moods. Many nutrients are involved in brain function and hormone function, which also influences how we feel emotionally. Depression has also been linked to obesity.
Here are just a few of the topics you might discuss with your registered dietitian/nutritionist in your individual nutrition counseling sessions at the Miami Counseling & Resource Center:
- Make sense of your current food pattern to assess how what you are eating may contribute to your moods.
- Analyze your intake for vitamin and mineral deficiencies that contribute to depression.
- Create a healthy, well-balanced food pattern that is normalized and consistent with your lifestyle.
- Weight management if obesity is present.
- Address medical problems that are impacted by nutrition and/or weight.
- Reach and/or maintain your healthy body weight without starving or harming yourself.