A balanced diet including lots of complex carbohydrates, fish, and food sources of vitamins B6 and B12 and folate
Alcohol, which can be a depressant.
Caffeine, which can interfere with sleep and mood
Foods and drinks that contain tyramine
Clinical depression is quite different from the normal “down” reaction to disappointment. Depression is a serious disorder, probably caused be a disturbance in brain chemistry. It can strike out of the blue and - for a view of the more fortunate sufferers-can disappear just as mysteriously. Many sufferers can benefit from medications to lift their mood.
One of the classic signs of depression is a dramatic change in eating patterns. Some people lose all desire to eat; others develop voracious appetites, especially for carbohydrates. People with depression typically have little energy. Other common signs of depression include an unshakable feeling of sadness, inability to experience pleasure, early awakening or multiple awakenings throughout the night, insomnia, excessive sleepiness, other sleep disorders, inability to concentrate, and indecisiveness. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt may be accompanied by recurrent thoughts of death.
Unfortunately, elderly sufferers do not always exhibit the classic signs. Instead, they may show signs of dementia, complain of aches and pains, and appear agitated, anxious, or irritable. Researchers estimate that almost one third of widows and widowers meet the criteria for depression in the first 4 weeks after the death of a spouse. Half of these people are still clinically depressed after a year. If your notice symptoms of depression in someone, try to persuade the person to see a doctor.
People with parkinson’s disease, stroke, arthritis, thyroid disorders, and cancer often suffer from depression. But the person may feel depressed because he was a serious illness or because the underlying disease has triggered a chemical change in the brain. Depression also can be a side effect of many medications taken for other existing conditions; these include beta-blockers for hypertension, digoxin and other drugs for heart disease, indomethacin and other drugs for heart disease, indomethacin and other painkillers, corticosteroids antiparkinsonism drugs, antihistamines, and oral contraceptives and other hormonal agents.
People with depression often fail to take card of themselves, neglecting their appearance and eating irregularly. Nutritious food is needed to cope with any disease, but unfortunately, depressed people are especially likely to be careless about their nutrition. The resulting poor nourishment may impede recovery.
Antidepressant drugs in the class called monoamine oxidase inhibitors can have serious side effects when taken with certain foods, especially those containing tyramine and other amines. Alcohol should be avoided altogether. If your are taking one of these drugs, your blood pressure could rise dangerously when you eat foods rich in tyramines.
As a general rule, all protein-rich foods that have been aged, dried, fermented, pickled, or bacterially treated should be eliminated from the diet.
ANTIDEPRESSANTS AND WEIGHT
Another class of antidepressant drugs, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can reduce the appetite, leading to a slight but progressive weight loss. If your are taking one of these drugs, your may need to make a special effort to maintain your optimum weight during treatment.
Tricyclic antidepressants, which can cause weight gain, include imipramine amitriptyline, and nortriptyline . if you are overweight to begin with, or gain weight while taking any of these drugs, ask your doctor to suggest an alternative.