This Article is From Nov 20, 2018

Depression May Be Linked To Poor Blood Flow: 5 Diet Tips To Manage Depression

This study investigated the association of depression, and antidepressant treatment, with the risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

Depression May Be Linked To Poor Blood Flow: 5 Diet Tips To Manage Depression

Depressed people may have increased risk of atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow, revealed a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Researchers at Aarhus University said that medication was not responsible for the high frequency of atrial fibrillation in depressed people. "It is common knowledge that there is a connection between the mind and the heart. Depression predicts the development of coronary artery disease and worsens its prognosis. Our study investigated whether depression is also linked with atrial fibrillation," said study's author Morten Fenger-Grøn.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia). It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 14-17 million patients with atrial fibrillation in the European Union, with 120,000-215,000 new diagnoses each year. Palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain and dizziness, are common signs of Atrial fibrillation. Antidepressants have been linked with some serious, but rare, heart rhythm disturbances, prompting the question of whether they might also raise the risk of atrial fibrillation.

This study investigated the association of depression, and antidepressant treatment, with the risk of developing atrial fibrillation. Filling a prescription for antidepressants for the first time was used as an indicator of depression. The study included 785,254 people initiating antidepressant treatment from 2000 to 2013. The risk of atrial fibrillation was assessed after starting treatment and in the month before, when it was assumed that patients were depressed but medically untreated. The findings revealed that compared with the general population, patients taking antidepressants had a 3.18-fold higher risk of atrial fibrillation during the first month of treatment. The association gradually reduced thereafter, to 1.37-fold at 2-6 months, and 1.11-fold at 6-12 months.


Diet Tips To Manage Depression


While medications are very important, it must be understood that diet is an extremely important component of mental health. A healthy and enriching diet filled with essential vitamins and minerals are closely linked to triggering positive thoughts, claim studies. 

Here Are Some Healthy Diet Tips A Depressed Person Must Consider: 

1. Healthy fats: Healthy fats like those found in nuts, eggs, avocados, olive oil, cheese, whole grains and fish are crucial for brain health and may play an important role in fighting depression. 

2. Leafy vegetables: Vegetables rich in folate and water-soluble B vitamin are also ideal to add in your diet. Low folate levels have been linked to depressive symptoms and poor response to antidepressants. Watercress, spinach, mustard greens, lettuce, broccoli and kale are some examples.

3. Drink more water and fluids. "Have a balanced diet and include more fluids like green tea, buttermilk, nimbu paani and even milk. Milk has a soothing effect on the brain. You can make a quick banana and milk smoothie to overcome morning moodiness. Both induce a feeling of calm," says Dr. Mukta Vasishta, Chief Dietician, Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi. Nutritionist at Fortis Healthcare Delhi, Dr. Simran Saini adds, "I ask my patients to drink a lot of water. You should also have a glass of lemon water daily."

4. Antioxidant-rich fruits: "Berries and fruits like cherries and grapes and dark green vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and can really help," says Dr. Simran Saini.

5. Protein-rich foods. "Protein-rich foods are known to boost alertness. Some of them contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps your body make the mood boosting brain chemical, serotonin.

6. Bananas: Bananas help boost tryptophan, also called the happiness hormone. You can eat it raw, or blend them in shakes. 

Include these foods in your diet and see how effective they are for you, make sure you consult your doctor first before making any major alterations to your daily diet. 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.