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What are some foods that contribute to depression?

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Quick Answer

People coping with depression should avoid foods that may contribute to the condition, which include refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, foods high in sodium, hydrogenerated oils and processed foods, according to Psych Central. Alcohol and caffeine may also worsen the symptoms of depression.

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Refined sugar and artificial sweeteners can block the production of serotonin, leading to insomnia, headaches and dips in mood, as Psych Central explains. Refined sugars can also cause a dip in blood glucose levels that are linked to sleep disorders, plummeting energy levels and mood disruptions.

Processed foods and carbohydrates in pastas, snack foods, bread and cereal also cause an initial boost in insulin, which can result in irritation, sadness and fatigue, as detailed by Psych Central. People who consume hydrogenated oils are more prone to depression because the oils in fried foods such as fries and fried chicken may prevent blood flow to the brain and clog the arteries. Excess sodium can disrupt the neurological system, and it can also lead to bloating and fluid retention.

WebMD recommends a diet rich in nutrients, antioxidants and smart carbohydrates for people with depression. Smart carbohydrates produce a calming effect on the mind and body, and essential antioxidants work to prevent cell damage and brain dysfunction. A diet high in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals helps reduce any deficiencies while also supporting wellness, repair and growth.

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