5 Depression Triggering Foods

5 Depression Triggering Foods

Clinical depression is a mental illness that affects how you think, feel, and behave. It can lead to various negative emotions and significantly impair your ability to function in everyday life. If you are experiencing depression symptoms, it is important to get help from a therapist. Depression therapy can be very effective in helping you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life in all areas—including how you eat. 

Depression can be a vicious cycle, in which you eat comfort foods to improve your mood, but those foods are also responsible for potentially worsening your depression. Here are 5 of the most common depression-triggering foods:

1. Red or processed meat

Red meat is often known as comfort food. However, there are several reasons why you should avoid it. Red meats contain inflammatory fats that can lead to depression. Processed meats like sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and bologna also contain high levels of sodium nitrite, which is also a known trigger for depression.

2. Refined grains

Refined grains, including white flour, white rice, and processed breakfast cereals, have been stripped of their nutrients and fiber content. These grains will spike your blood sugar levels, leading to a crash in energy and mood down the road. Instead, individuals should aim for foods with a low glycemic index (a tool that shows how quickly the food you eat will raise your blood sugar levels) to maintain good health. This includes whole grains and complex carbohydrates that have been minimally processed, which are healthy for almost anyone looking to improve their physical and mental health.

3. High-fat dairy products

Fatty dairy products are another type of comfort food that can trigger depression. Many people choose high-fat cream, whole milk, and cheese over low-fat alternatives because of their thick texture and rich flavors. Unfortunately, fatty dairy foods can be detrimental to your mental health. As with processed meats, these foods contain inflammatory fats that increase risk of mental illness.

4. Butter

Like other high-fat dairy products, butter can lead to depression down the road. Unfortunately, butter contains high levels of inflammatory saturated fat and cholesterol, which have been associated with psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Due to these factors, excessive butter consumption can also lead to high blood pressure, another risk factor for depression.

5. Alcohol

Many people drink alcoholic beverages in excess to cope with their depression symptoms. Unfortunately, this typically makes the problem worse. Alcoholic drinks have been linked to depressive disorders for various reasons, including alcohol’s effects on neurotransmitters. This includes compromising the effectiveness of antidepressants. If you find yourself struggling to limit or cease your alcohol consumption, you may be suffering from an alcohol addiction on top of depression. You should seek treatment as soon as possible.  

Although it may seem challenging to avoid these foods at first, a change in diet can significantly impact your overall mental health. In addition, individuals with a history of mental illness should speak with their doctor before making any dietary changes, as certain nutritional deficiencies can trigger psychiatric symptoms, including depression. 

latest articles