Some adages are popular for a reason, like you are what you eat.
Recent research is now suggesting a connection between chronic inflammation and depression.
According to new findings published by the Harvard School of Public Health, women who had diets with excessive amounts of sugar, starch and red meat tended to have higher incidences of inflammation in the body, and consequently, had a higher rate of depression.
“Women whose diet includes more foods that trigger inflammation- like sugar-sweetened or diet soft drinks, refined grains, red meat, and margarine- and few foods that restrain inflammation like wine, coffee, olive oil, and green leafy and yellow vegetables- have up to a 41-percent risk of being diagnosed with depression…” says the study published on the university’s web site.
Inflammation is a physical response to any part of the body that has been aggravated. It can be caused for many reasons, and is often the result of an injury or infection.
The study determined that individuals diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) also had elevated numbers of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Cytokines are capable of having an effect the functions of brain activity, which can also be responsible for influencing chemicals known for causing depression.
“…cytokines can influence neurotransmitter metabolism, neuroendocrine function and regional brain activity. All of which are relevant to depression,” notes an article published in a 2013 edition of Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences.
Foods that can help or hurt types of depression
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that one in 10 U.S. citizens is affected by depression.
Researchers recommend eating foods labeled or recognized as having ‘anti-inflammatory’ attributes to improve overall mental health.
Olive oil is said to be one of the best foods for preventing inflammation.
Caffeinated coffee is also thought to be a generous source of anti-inflammatory benefits thought to reduce depression. According to an article published by Harvard University, “In 2011, researchers reported findings that coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of depression among women, a lower risk of lethal prostate cancer among men, and a lower risk of stoke among men and women.”
Red wine is said to improve inflammation in moderate daily quantities. Some researchers assert that the resveratrol in red wine is what gives it the conceivable ability to decrease inflammation, as well as blood clotting.
Ginger is another edible source believed to reduce skin discoloration, or redness, and treat symptoms of inflammation. Ingesting ginger is also shown to promote healthy blood-sugar levels. Drinking ginger tea is a simple, tasty way to incorporate this healthy supplement into your diet.
While there are foods that can quell the painful manifestations of inflammation, other edible items can trigger it, including: margarine and fried foods with high trans-fat compositions; dairy products; processed meats; and hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated fats; red meat; and refined flours and sugars.
The next time a binge sounds like a comforting way to end a catastrophic day, think of tomorrow. The nutrient choices you make today can directly influence the health of your brain, personal well-being and precious inner serenity.