Fight depression with food? Yes, it is possible!
Conceição Calhau, a researcher at CINTESIS – Center for Health Technology and Services Research and professor at the NOVA Medical School, explains, in the Prevenir magazine, how a balanced diet can help fight chronic inflammation and neuroinflammation, which is associated with depression symptoms. As she explains, neuroinflammation “promotes the degradation of tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin, which regulates mood and is known as the substance of happiness”.
Deficiency of omega-3 fatty acid and changes in the intestinal microbiota are identified as ways in which food influences mental health. To fight inflammation, Conceição Calhau recommends eating food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as sardines, mackerel and salmon, and to avoid excessive consumption of food rich in omega-6 fatty acids, such as red meat. To preserve the microbiota, she recommends eating legumes (chickpeas, beans, beans, or peas), fruit and vegetables, soup, whole grains, and fermented foods.