Living with bipolar depression can be perplexing and worsen eating habits. For some people, depressive episodes can keep them away from the kitchen and for others, it can trigger emotional overeating. If this problem goes out of hand it can lead to serious weight problems, while on the other hand, not eating can cause unhealthy weight loss and undernourishment. To help you, here are some diet tips for bipolar depression.
Eat food filled with Omega-3 fatty acid
You may have heard many benefits of eating food replete with omega-3 fatty acids. One of them is preventing depression. This fatty acid is found in lots of varieties of fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, black cod, anchovies, tuna, and mussels. If you can’t eat fish a couple of times in a week, consider taking omega-3 supplements daily. For vegan options, try walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds mixed in canola oil.
Replace processed food with veggies and fruits
Replacing processed snacks with vegetables and fruits can boost your energy levels and make you feel healthier overall. Consider eating bananas or strawberries to help you cure your sweet tooth. Vegetables also consist of essential fiber that keeps your digestive tract functioning well. You can also add yogurt to your diet. It has healthy bacteria and probiotics that help boost moods and lower anxiety.
Add magnesium to your food
Magnesium is often prescribed as a mood stabilizer for bipolar depression and works similarly to lithium. Adding magnesium to your diet may also decrease symptoms of mania or rapid cycling. It also improves sleep, which often is a problem for people with bipolar depression. Some sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, soybeans, cashews, black beans, sunflower seeds, almonds, and spinach.
Stay away from alcohol and caffeine
Both beverages can severely aggravate mood swings by sending them spiraling even further out of control. Alcohol combined with medicated drugs can make one very ill and completely disrupt sleep patterns. If you’re socializing, opt for a glass of sparkling water with lime or lemon. Also, other sodas like Red Bull are heavily caffeinated and can precipitate mania. It’s best to pass on the coffee and switch to non-caffeinated herbal tea or make home-made flavored water by adding herbs or fruits.
Healthy fats are essential
Healthy fats help you avoid cravings that could worsen the mood swings. Try incorporating low-fat dairy or avocados in your diet and start cooking in olive oil. These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals and prevent you from overeating.
Watch your sugar and salt intake
Be mindful of sodium levels if you take lithium for bipolar depression. Too little or more salt can fluctuate lithium levels causing mood instability. Sugar intake should also be limited as it may lead to sudden spikes, making you feel happier for a while, followed by a sudden onset of feeling low when your sugar level crashes.