The World Health Organization predicted that depression will be the second-leading cause of burden on society across the globe by the year 2020. So what’s bringing us down? There are many factors, and diet unfortunately may be one of them. Here’s a list of foods that can turn you into a Debbie Downer:
A study by Lindseth et al (2014) found that high aspartame consumption resulted in more irritable moods, depression, headaches, and lower scores on cognitive tests. My advice: Pass on those little colored packets and use natural sugar in moderation. Research suggests that artificial sweeteners can raise your blood sugar levels more than the real thing anyway.
Low Fiber Foods
A diet low in fiber will leave you feeling blue. Most Americans consume less than half of the recommended daily intake of fiber, which is 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men. How can you increase your fiber intake? Chow down on more fruits and vegetables, and leave the skins on when you can.
High fiber foods will not only help you turn that frown upside down, but they will also help you shed a few pounds, too, as fiber helps you feel full and eat less.
Foods High On The Glycemic Index
A study by the Women’s Health Initiative (2015) found that higher glycemic index diets are associated with depression. Glycemic index measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises glucose in the blood. For example, a food with a high glycemic index will raise blood glucose levels higher than foods with low glycemic index. You can find a list of the glycemic index for over 100 foods here.
Foods That Promote Inflammation
Harvard research in 2015 found that diets that promote inflammation (foods high in sugar and bad fats) were associated with a higher risk of depression. Go with these inflammation fighters: salmon, dark leafy greens, olive oil, nuts, and berries.
My husband, an amazing French chef to the stars and metabolism-boosting food guru, wrote a cookbook that follows these strategies of eating foods low on the glycemic index, high in fiber, using whole natural foods. Check it out: Eat More Burn More