Are Processed Foods Feeding Your Depression? 

You have had a bad day…or a bad week…and you are staring at the crumb-littered bottom of a bag of potato chips you just inhaled wondering if it is crossing the line to shake those last teeny-tiny pieces of salty goodness into your mouth. After all, no one is looking…right? 

It is a common thing, this tendency of turning to salty, sweet, fatty, comforting foods that are so processed they will probably survive the apocalypse whenever we feel stressed out or depressed. But depression eating or stress eating is a bad habit…and one that could actually be feeding more than your face. It might be feeding your cycle of stress and depression, keeping you going around and around… Amazingly enough, studies have shown that the foods we eat can play a huge role in increasing the regularity, intensity, and length of the bouts of depression or anxiety we experience. And if you are someone who is already naturally predisposed to them, eating certain foods might only exacerbate the issue. 

Sure, you already know that processed foods aren’t exactly good for you. But they could literally be bringing you down, and if you don’t know which foods to avoid when you are depressed, you could be scarfing down foods that leave you with 
vitamin deficiencies and nutrient deficiencies that wreak havoc on your mental and emotional health.

The Depressed Diet 

If you are often depressed, you may need to clean up your plate. Here are a few processed foods that are commonly linked to depression: 

1. Sugar 

Clinical studies have shown that elevated levels of blood glucose lead to a drop in the level of a protein that encourages the growth of synapses and neurons. In plain English, this means that the consumption of sugar causes the brain to function at less than optimal levels, and the more sugar you eat, the greater the risk of depression and dementia becomes. 

2. Artificial Sweeteners 

Aspartame and other commonly used artificial sweeteners impede the production of serotonin, which can cause headaches, insomnia, changes in mood, and depression. 

3. Alcohol 

Alcohol actually decreases the function of the central nervous system, which controls the processing of emotions and often intensifies symptoms associated with depression. 

4. Hydrogenated Oil 

Hydrogenation converts vegetable oil into a more solid form to make it shelf-stable, and anything made with or cooked in hydrogenated oils contains trans fats, which could potentially contribute to depression by clogging arteries and preventing blood flow to the brain. 

5. Fast Food 

All of the saturated and trans fats in fast foods like pizza, hamburgers, French fries, and fried chicken put you at greater risk for depression when you regularly consume large amounts of them because, as stated before, these harmful fats clog the arteries that allow proper blood flow to the brain. Improper blood flow means improper brain function, and that could leave you feeling depressed. 

6. Trans Fat 

Trans fats are unsaturated fats that are not naturally found in whole, unprocessed foods. But processed foods contain high amounts of them, and these unnatural fats can clog the arteries and increase the risk of depression as much as 48%. 

7. High Sodium Foods 

Extra sodium can upset certain functions of the neurological system, which can contribute to depression, confuse immune system response, and cause fatigue. Fatigue can disrupt the balance of your emotional state; and higher levels of sodium also leads to fluid retention, bloating, and often weight gain – all of which contribute to negative body image and lead to even greater levels of depression. 

8. Caffeine 

Caffeine has been proven to have a disruptive effect on sleep, and proper amounts of sleep are essential to balancing mood and maintaining mental health. 

Talk to the Ask Everwell Experts Today!

If you are prone to depression, talk to an expert about designing a depression diet plan. Or maybe you could benefit from a regimen of 
supplements for stress and anxiety. Whatever the case, be mindful of what you are eating as you think about your mood and how you feel after you have chewed that last bite. At Everwell Specialty Pharmacy, we offer clients Ask Everwell consultations with our medical experts and health professionals who can help design a customized diet plan that will get your emotional health back into shape. 

Don’t let processed foods sink you into depression – feed your mental health with everything it needs to be at its best! Come into 
Everwell Specialty Pharmacy for your Ask Everwell consultation and learn about a diet plan for emotional well-being today!