The gut-brain axis is described as a bidirectional link between our Central Nervous System and our digestive system. Therefore, it is safe to say that the food we consume has a direct impact on our mood levels.
Research supports that deficiencies of nutrients can heighten depression, such as Vitamin B, certain B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium. Any food that is rich in Vitamin B, specifically folate, B6 and B12, effectively curbs depressed moods, as these facilitate mood regulatory neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Additionally, nutrients like Zinc, Magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids promote increased synthesis of BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which results in greater resilience when stressed. Any nutrient that has anti-inflammatory properties also can possess anti-depressant benefits.
Dharana Wellness’ food philosophy focuses on a balanced nutrition. The farm-to-table philosophy focuses on produce being picked freshly from the organic garden, with each dish cooked slowly to retain their nutrients.
Here are some foods that qualify as natural antidepressants, based on the nutritional value
- High in Vitamin B: Whole grains such as rice, barley, Meat (fish, poultry), Eggs, Dairy products like cheese and milk, lentils, seeds (almonds), leafy greens (spinach, kale)
- High in Omega 3-fatty acids: Chia Seeds, Flax seeds, Fishes such as Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies and Oysters, Walnuts, Soya Beans.
- Complex carbohydrates: Found in whole grain produce, such as rice, bread, pasta which boost serotonin, without spiking blood sugar.
- High in Magnesium: Pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, black beans, edamame, dark chocolate, Peanuts, Avocados
Dharana Wellness Centre, a wellness retreat near Mumbai, focuses on holistic health which includes physical, mental and spiritual balance. One of the main pillars of this eco wellness retreat lies in the farm-to-table food philosophy, which encourages an organic approach to consuming food. Fresh produce is picked from the organic farm and is made with slow-cooking techniques. As an Ayurvedic healing center in India, Dharana combines the use of an integrative, modern approach for holistic health with Modern diagnostics with traditional practices like Yoga and Ayurveda to ensure a sustainable wellness journey.