Also known as manic depression, bipolar depression leads a person to experience extreme mood swings from euphoria to depression. Bipolar disorder usually begins during early adulthood and can persist throughout a patient’s life. Although there is no cure for this condition, lifestyle changes, proper medication, and following some diet tips can help in managing bipolar depression. Here are some points to remember when planning meals for someone suffering from bipolar depression:
- Whole grains
One of the best diet tips for managing bipolar depression is to opt for whole-grain foods like barley, oatmeal, brown rice, and millet. The carbohydrates found in whole grains help neurons in the brain to release a chemical called serotonin, which helps relax the mind. Including whole-grain foods in the diet improves the digestive system and also helps reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Beans are a good source of magnesium, and including them in one’s diet is another diet tip for managing bipolar depression. They help stabilize mood swings, and magnesium also promotes good sleep, as sleeplessness is a common symptom of bipolar depression. A magnesium-rich diet can include foods like chickpeas, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, and such.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fats helps boost communication between brain cells. It also helps improve mental health and stabilizes mood swings. An effective diet tip for managing bipolar depression is to consume foods like fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, and eggs, as they are rich in omega-3 fats that help improve brain health.
Nuts are excellent sources of magnesium, vitamins, and zinc, and mixed nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts contain selenium, which improves concentration and reduces stress and mood swings.
- Dark chocolate
Consuming dark chocolate is one of the most popular diet tips for managing bipolar depression as cocoa acts as a mood enhancer. It contains phenylethylamine, which is a stimulant that helps lower stress and depression levels.
A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon promotes a healthy brain and reduces stress and depression.
They are a great source of monounsaturated fats and help improve communication between brain cells and promote stabilized moods. Adding avocados to the diet also promotes a healthy heart and helps maintain blood pressure levels.
- Green vegetables
Folic acid, vitamins, and antioxidants in leafy greens work as antidepressants. Spinach, broccoli, and asparagus are some leafy vegetables one can have to manage the condition effectively.
Increased levels of cortisol can lead to heart diseases and mood swings, and berries help reduce stress and depression by lowering the cortisol levels in the body. A mixed bowl of berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries should be included in one’s diet to help regulate cortisol levels.
The liver of animals contains vitamin B9, also known as folate, which helps regulate serotonin levels and promotes brain health.
In addition to following these tips, avoiding packaged, fatty, and sugary foods, along with alcohol, go a long way in alleviating the symptoms of bipolar depression.