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More People Suffer from Depression and Anxiety in this Era, Choosing Right Foods and Aromatherapy to Escape Emotional Problems

by Amélie Poulain

In 2020, WHO proposed three major diseases that need attention in the world. Depression ranks second and is the first cause of disabling diseases. Affected by COVID-19, the number of people suffering from depression and anxiety has greatly increased around the world. Choosing the right food and natural essential oils can help to escape the depression.

Depression is listed by WHO as the second most important disease in the world. (Photo via pexels.com)

Taipei, TAIWAN (Merxwire) – In 2020, WHO proposed that the three major diseases that need attention in the world are cardiovascular disease, depression, and AIDS. Depression, which ranks second, is the first cause of disability, and also causes a great economic burden on society. According to statistics from the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare in the same year on the number of antidepressant drug users, more than 1.5 million people in Taiwan are taking antidepressant drugs, and it is estimated that 1 in every 15 people suffers from depression.

“Depression” can make people feel sad, lose interest in life, and be unable to think or do things. It is usually a short-term temporary state. Over time, the hormones in the brain will balance, and we will adjust our mood. The mood will disappear and return to calm. This is a normal mood swing that everyone must experience. The reasons for depression are life changes, external environmental conditions, such as natural and man-made disasters, epidemic situations, or some emotional fluctuations caused by one’s personality traits.

When your brain can’t balance or you can’t resolve these emotions by yourself so that depression persists and can’t disappear, it may evolve into a mental illness “depression”, which affects feelings, thinking, and behavior. You would appear some physical problems at the same time. In severe cases, it will also affect daily life, study, and workability. Depression currently accounts for about 3% of the world’s population, with a higher incidence in women than in men, with an average lifetime prevalence of about 10-25%, compared with 5-12% in men.

When you can’t escape from depression, it may evolve into a disease. (Photo via unsplash.com)

Depression may be the aftermath of COVID-19 

The appearance of depression and the occurrence of depression are indeed closely related to changes in the external environment. According to a study in 2020 by Doctor of Medicine of the University of Queensland in Australia, the number of depression patients affected by COVID-19 increased by 53 million, an increase of 28% compared with 2019, and the total number reached 246 million. Anxiety disorders jumped by 76 million, an increase of 26%, to 374 million.

The study found that among the affected groups, the proportion of women was higher than men. In terms of age, the younger group is more serious. Regions and countries with stricter lockdowns and epidemic prevention measures and more reductions in social activities also had a higher rate of increase in the number of depression and anxiety disorders. The increase in women is mainly because when working or studying at home women are usually the carers of the sick at home, the elderly and the young, and do more housework. The reason for the higher proportion of school-age children and adolescents suffering from the disease is that under the circumstances of school closures and city closures, they hardly get along with their peers and engage in social activities, which has a great impact on their psychological development. Therefore, the young group had the highest increase in mental illness during the epidemic.

The COVID-19 outbreak has cut off human interaction, causing an increase in adolescent mental illness. (Photo via pexels.com)

Nutritionist’s Worry-Relief Formula-Choose the right foods to strengthen your brain, stabilize your heart rhythm, and get a good night’s sleep  

The gut is called the second brain, and it is filled with many neurons around it. Dietitians recommend eating a healthy diet, reducing sugar, carbohydrates, caffeine, and processed foods to maintain gut health and also help increase your ability to regulate your mood. Appropriate nutrients can help build various important substances in the brain. Serotonin, known as the “happy hormone”, is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for controlling emotions and sleep. Sufficient “serotonin” can eliminate depression, fight stress, help to organize thoughts smoothly, adjust back to a state of balance, and make emotions feel better and release normally. When serotonin is insufficient, the brain cannot think, gets caught in certain emotions, and cannot return to a state of equilibrium. So our daily diet affects not only healthy physiology but also mental health and emotional processing. Uneven nutrient intake will cause a shortage of raw materials for serotonin synthesis, affecting brain function and hormone metabolism. It is very important to consume more raw materials that help serotonin synthesis and nutrients that can repair nerve function.

Nutritionists recommend starting with diet. Choosing the right foods can help reduce depression and anxiety and regulate emotions:

  • Tryptophan: Helps to regulate emotions and reduce anxiety. As the raw material for serotonin, you can consume more protein-rich foods, because protein can be decomposed into tryptophan in the body. The protein content of milk, eggs, beans, fish, and meat is higher.
  • Calcium: When calcium intake is insufficient, it will affect the normal induction of nerves, resulting in symptoms such as anger, emotional fluctuations, and insomnia. It is recommended to consume 1000 mg of calcium a day. Can be supplemented by black sesame, cheese, tofu, dark green vegetables, etc.
  • Magnesium: The main function is to help nerve conduction, stabilize heart rhythm and blood sugar, build bones and assist muscles to function properly. Since the body cannot make its own magnesium, it must be obtained from cocoa, avocado, bananas, dark green vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B group: B1, B6, and B12 in the vitamin B group can help the normal functioning of brain nerves, reduce stress, and eliminate fatigue. Add dark green and orange fruits and vegetables, brown rice, beans, lean meats, clams, and oats.
  • Vitamin D: It can regulate the nervous system and immune function, and can also strengthen the muscles and bones. If the daily intake of vitamin D is insufficient, people are more prone to anxiety and depression. You can eat more fish, dried mushrooms, egg yolks, liver, and black fungus to supplement vitamin D, and more sun exposure can also promote the production of vitamin D in the body.
  • OMEGA-3 Fatty Acids: Intake of OMEGA-3 fatty acids has been found in clinical studies to prevent depression, maintain brain health, lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots. Eat more deep-sea fish such as saury, salmon, cod, sardines, etc., as well as plant-based flax seeds and walnuts.
Choose the right foods to supplement nutrition to keep you physically and emotionally healthy. (Photo via pexels.com)

Aromatherapist’s Worry-Relief Formula-Choose the right essential oils to replenish positive energy, relieve stress, be calm and well-sleep    

Aromatherapy originated from the ancient civilizations of Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome, and was famous for fighting the Black Death after the Middle Ages. It is mainly a therapy popular in European countries such as Britain and France. Aromatherapy mainly uses plant extracts with special aromas to balance the condition of the body and mind, including herbal teas, essential oils, herbs for cooking, vegetable oils, hydrosols, aromatic skin care products, and herbs.

Aromatherapists suggest starting with daily conditioning, from drinking tea to soothe sleep and create a scented atmosphere in the space, with gentle massage and bathing to get rid of boredom and regain positive energy:

  • The caffeine-free and mild properties of herbal tea make it safe for people who are stressed and have poor sleep quality due to mood swings. The vitamin B complex, vitamin C and minerals contained in it all help to stabilize the mood. Studies have found that lavender and chamomile teas have a soothing effect, while peppermint and lemongrass teas can boost your mood and energy.
  • The aroma molecules in essential oils have different conditioning properties and have different effects in clinical research. Let the space or skin have a natural plant aroma, the aroma enters the limbic system of the brain from the olfactory system, affects mood and memory, and the secretion and balance of various substances in the brain, such as serotonin and endorphins.
  • In the research, it was found that the woody essential oil has the aroma of phytoncides like a big tree, which gives people support and calm power. The citrus essential oils can stimulate the neurotransmitters in the brain, make the emotions flow smoothly, relieve negative emotions, replenish positive energy, and balance body and mind. Floral essential oils such as rose Otto and ylang ylang can stimulate the brain to secrete endorphins and help the production of serotonin, which can produce happy hormones and maintain a peaceful and happy mood.
Aromatherapy has been popular in Europe and the United States for more than 200 years. Choosing the right natural essential oils, the aroma of plants can make you feel calm and happy. (Photo via unsplash.com)

The ritual of a cup of tea

Scientific research has found that giving yourself 10 to 20 minutes a day to brew a warm cup of tea that you could any kind of tea. Feel the warmth of the cup wall with the palm of your hand, inhale the aroma of the tea with your nose, calm down and taste this cup of tea slowly, feel the warmth that slips into your throat, you can stabilize your mood, release your emotions, and repair the damaged nerves and restore positive thinking at the same time.

In addition to developing good eating habits, choosing foods, herbal teas, and essential oil that make you feel happy, don’t forget to develop regular exercise habits. Exercise can stabilize the nervous system, stimulate the secretion of endorphins, improve mood, and at the same time increase our tolerance to stress hormones and improve stress resistance. Taking advantage of the free time and vacation time to walk outdoors is also a good anti-anxiety remedy. Studies have found that children who often walk in nature are less prone to depression, easier to recover mentally and physically, are more able to think positively, and are less prone to anxiety and depression. Changing your mood and getting out of depression starts with the little things in your daily life.

A cup of warm tea every day has a healing effect on the mind. (Photo via pexels.com)

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