When a person suffers from depression, they may feel a whole range of negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 300 million people in the world are affected by depression and it is the number one cause of disability in the world. If your parent is one of the many people in the world who has depression, research shows that eating certain foods may help improve overall mood. If your parent suffers from depression, read on to find out how family caregivers and senior care providers who prepare you parent’s meals may be able to help.
Diet and Depression
Let’s first say that there is no diet that can cure depression. People who have depression should see a doctor and follow their advice. Changing the way a person eats, however, could help boost their overall mood.
In a recent 12-week study, researchers split a group of 67 participants into a control group and a group that followed a specific diet plan. At the end of the study, those who followed the diet plan showed significant improvement in depression symptoms in comparison to those in the control group. The diet included lots of whole foods, but discouraged eating fried, processed, and sugary foods.
Foods That Can Help
What a person eats affects their mood because of the way the nutrients in food affect the brain. To help boost your parent’s mood, senior care providers and family caregivers should prepare meals that include the following foods:
- Antioxidant Rich Foods: The body makes free radicals, destructive molecules that damage cells, cause aging, and lead to other kinds of problems. The creation of free radicals is a normal process and there is no way to stop it. But, research indicates that eating foods that are rich in antioxidants minimizes the destruction. Some foods that contain antioxidants are broccoli, apricots, carrots, blueberries, peppers, potatoes, nuts, vegetable oil, and wheat germ.
- Vitamin D: There is a link between mood and vitamin D deficiency. Exposure to the sun can increase vitamin D levels, but some foods can, too. Fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon are all good sources.
- Good Carbs: Carbohydrates can help boost serotonin levels, which in turn boosts a person’s mood. However, it’s important to choose the right carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, legumes, and vegetables. Avoid eating the simple carbs that are found in sweets like cookies and cake.
- Protein: Increasing protein can give a person more energy. Certain proteins, like turkey, also contain tryptophan, which aids the body in producing serotonin. Good sources of protein include lean beef, yogurt, fish, poultry, milk, and beans.
Although dietary changes won’t stop depression, eating an overall balanced diet can lead to better health, which will lead to your parent feeling better overall. If your parent has difficulty cooking or cannot grocery shop on their own, hiring a senior care provider through an agency can help. Senior care providers can drive your parent to the grocery store and shop with them. They can also cook meals for your parent, or simply assist them with the parts of cooking that they find difficult.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING IN-HOME SENIOR CARE IN CHANDLER, AZ, PLEASE CALL THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE SCOTTSDALE. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!