A mental illness that makes people exhibit extreme mood fluctuations is called bipolar depression. Alternating between bouts of raging excitement and severe depression with periods of normalcy in between is the characteristic of this health condition. Genetic and environmental factors are suspected to be the cause of bipolar depression, but did you know that there are simple diet tips that can help you manage this condition and make a positive difference?
There is no single “magic” food.
Remember, there is no unique food that can cure bipolar depression. However, healthy dietary practices will go a long way in keeping you fit and in good shape not just physically, but also mentally. The right kind of foods provide nutrients that enable all your organs to perform efficiently to their potential, prevent erratic blood glucose fluctuations, and hence mood swings.
Up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids
This nutrient provides an abundance of benefits to your body, reducing the risk of heart disease, improving memory and concentration, and minimizing arthritic pain and inflammation. Present in cold-water fish like mackerel, anchovies, trout, salmon, and herring, omega-3 fatty acids help build and maintain your brain’s neuron connection and the receptors for neurotransmitters. Thus the serotonins that are produced help reduce mood swings and improve responsiveness. Make delicious fish recipes with wild-caught ones that contain less harmful chemicals in them. You could also consume fish-oil supplements, flax seeds and chia seeds, soybeans, walnuts, and canola oil with alpha-linolenic-acid, which the body converts into omega-3 fatty acids.
Enjoy slow energy-releasing complex carbohydrates.
The carbohydrates consumed are broken down into glucose for your body to use as energy. And, the relationship between blood glucose supply and your moods are directly proportional. Hence when you eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables with a low glycemic index, they tend to steadily release energy over a long period. While it is best to avoid simple sugars in all tempting forms, eating carbs along with proteins and fiber improves its absorption and enables the prolonged release of energy.
Maintain a healthy weight
Keep a close tab on how much you eat, how many calories you consume, and follow a regular, moderate exercise schedule. These will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep you fit mentally and physically. Studies show people with bipolar depression are at a higher risk of not paying proper attention to their diet, increasing their tendency to gain weight and become obese. Obesity, in turn, might affect depression medications adversely. Hence avoid unnecessary weight gain.
The miraculous benefit of magnesium
Magnesium is a trace mineral found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, dark chocolate, avocados, whole grains, flax, pumpkin, and chia seeds, and many other foods. It is a naturally occurring mood stabilizer and is very close in action to lithium, a bipolar medication. Magnesium helps reduce muscle weakness, insomnia, hyperactivity, depression, nervousness, loss of appetite, and confusion, all symptoms associated with bipolar depression.
Stay away from alcohol and drugs.
Depression can make people addicted to alcohol or drugs. While these might give a temporary high, if you are suffering from bipolar depression, it is best to avoid any form of alcohol or drugs. Misuse of alcohol only worsens your symptoms and further aggravates your mood swings and mental condition. In addition to bipolar treatments that you may be receiving, enroll in de-addiction programs for substance abuse too to get rid of both conditions simultaneously.