Nutrition, Diet and Manic Depression
Is there any link between nutrition, food, diet and manic depression?
Research studies have confirmed that food and moods are closely connected, and that certain foods have been found to have a very positive effect on persons suffering from bipolar disorder and help decrease the symptoms of mania and / or depression. On the flip side, alcohol, substance abuse, sugars and nicotine affect these persons adversely.
Discussed below are a few tips on the balanced diet recommended for patients with manic depression.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids in the daily diet. Omega-3 helps reduce the risk of manic depression or bipolar disorder recurring. In addition, it also helps reduce the risk of other physical conditions like cardiovascular conditions, paralysis resulting from stroke, and diabetes of Type 1 nature.
Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 and it can be consumed via eating fish or supplements which are available in various forms in the market today. Omega-3 fatty acids and other essential fatty acids are not produced in the human body, but are very helpful when taken in the form of supplements. The exact nature of its mechanism is felt at the cellular level and in conducting neuron signal transduction, which helps patients with bipolar depression or manic depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerels. Such fish are excellent for one's overall diet and manic depression prevention. As for supplements, it would of course be important to take one of good quality and no contamination.
Studies have indicated that the suicide and depression rate was lesser in regions where fish and fish oil was consumed in healthy quantities, as compared to other regions. For best results, it is also recommended that fish be eaten at least twice every week.
One point to note though - if you wish to add fish to any general diet and manic depression prevention nutritional protocol, you should be aware that almost all fish today are contaminated with chemicals and heavy metals like mercury. Generally speaking, it is better to consume wild fish than farmed fish. As for supplements, be sure to look out for certification of non-contamination.
Another good nutrient when considering nutrition, diet and manic depression is folic acid. Folic acid has been indicated to be very effective in providing relief from manic depression. In fact, it helps persons suffering from both bipolar and unipolar depression.
In addition, folic acid has many other benefits, including reducing or preventing birth defects like spina fida in babies if pregnant mothers include folic acid in their daily diet. Other benefits of folic acid include prevention of mouth ulcers, diarrhea, anemia, etc.
Folic acid is a B vitamin which is required by the human body for producing new cells. It is found primarily in peas, asparagus, broccoli, sprouts, oranges, spinach, and whole-wheat products.
Folic acid has been found to nourish brain cells and the levels of folate or folic acid affect moods. Therefore, folic acid is considered extremely effective in elevating depressed moods and it also does not have any side effects and is very safe. It is, however, best to consult a practicing physician regarding the appropriate dosage and term of taking folic acid in the form of capsules or tablets, etc.
Another important substance when considering nutrition, diet and manic depression is a vitamin B complex called inositol. It has also been found to be extremely beneficial in helping persons suffering from manic depression, anxiety attacks, and mood swings.
Inositol is also referred to as vitamin B8, since it belongs to the vitamin B group, but it is technically not a vitamin. It is found in the human body and is a phospholipid which is useful in cell membrane formation.
Like omega-3s, this compound is also responsible for neuron signal conduction and helps control neurotransmitter generated transmissions. As many of us are aware, serotonin plays a key role in regulating moods; now, inositol helps control signals transmitted by serotonin, thereby helping to prevent mood swings and depression-related problems.
Research indicates that people suffering from bipolar disorder generally have low levels of inositol in their cerebrospinal fluid. Therefore, inositol intake has proven to be beneficial in persons suffering from manic depression and other mood-related conditions.
The link between good nutrition and manic depression is poignant, and a healthy diet containing omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, and inositol could prove extremely helpful and beneficial in persons who suffer the condition. In addition, regular exercise, yoga, and meditation can help such persons recover effectively from manic depression and its associated symptoms.
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