(Natural News) Research concurs on the clinically significant link between oxidative stress and major depression. It is theorized that this, more so than a lack of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, is the underlying cause of the mental illness — a disease that health experts recognize to be the leading cause of disability worldwide. More scientists are looking at nutritional methods to reduce the levels of oxidative stress in the body to prevent the onset of depression.
The banana plant (Musa sapientum) may be one such way to achieve this. Plantains, which are the starchy green bananas used in cooking, contain a variety of compounds that dramatically reduce the levels of oxidative stress in the body, in turn decreasing the likelihood of developing a mental illness.
A 2016 clinical trial published in Pharmacognosy Research highlighted this effect. For the purposes of the study, 30 mice were equally divided into five groups: vehicle (distilled water) at 10 mL/kg, standard drug (fluoxetine) at 25 mg/kg, 25 mg/kg of banana plant extract, 50 mg/kg of banana plant extract, and 100 mg/kg of banana plant extract. These doses were administered 45 minutes before the experiment which consisted of a forced swim test (FSD) and tail suspension test (TST). Oxidative stress biomarkers were measured before and after these tests.
Results showed that stress biomarkers were remarkably reduced in groups that received the banana plant extract. These effects were noted to be dose-dependent.
It was concluded that banana plant extract holds potential as a natural antidepressant due to its ability to reduce oxidative stress.
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Bananas to cure the blues?
Bananas are excellent sources of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and tryptophan, two compounds known to improve mental health. They do this by spurring the production of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter believed to play a significant role in how good you feel.
Take note though that bananas do not directly address depression. Serotonin cannot cross the blood-brain barrier on its own. In other words, it cannot physically get into the brain to supplement the serotonin that is naturally produced and is needed to boost your mood.
This doesn’t mean bananas are useless — eating more of this berry (yes, it is a berry) can shore up the amount of serotonin the brain can make thanks to its vitamin B6 content. So go bananas anyway! Nutritionally speaking, bananas are rich in fiber, low in calories, and have virtually no fat. They are also an incredible source of potassium, which helps your heart and other muscles maintain their function. These augment your health and can reduce your risk of depression.
You are the reflection of your diet
We are always told that “we are what we eat,” but it can be reversed likewise to imply that what we eat affects what we are. Have you ever wondered why you crave chocolates when you’re sad? Or why that bag of chips call to you when you’re stressed?
The humdrum of life has caused us to stop listening to our bodies — and we mean, really listening to it. Your body knows what is good for it, but we have choked its voice with junk.
Do yourself a favor now by eating good, nutritious, clean food. Not only will this give you the physical boost you need, but can also directly impact how you feel. (Related: Food Cures for Anxiety Depression and Mood Swings.)
Taking the nutrition route to nip depression in the bud can be life-changing. We recommend these three superfoods for a healthy mood:
Most people are not aware that a major portion of our nervous system is located in our intestines; what doctors call “the second brain.” Your intestines not only produce more than half of the necessary neurotransmitters needed for better mental health, but it also maintains stress levels, sleep patterns, and a number of other essential body processes. As such, an imbalanced or poorly functioning digestive system can interfere with your mood and increase your chances of developing depression.
Ghee is one of the most revered food in Ayurvedic medicine. One of its most astounding benefits is that it can rapidly repair the digestive tract and improve digestive function.
For depression, we recommend taking anywhere from 3 teaspoons to 3 tablespoons per day 20 minutes before meals.
This is one of nature’s most powerful detoxifying and DNA-repairing foods out there. Chlorella is the most abundant source of chlorophyll, a potent detoxifying compound. Chlorella can treat or prevent depression by removing environmental toxins and heavy metals from your body.
The medicinal mushroom holds a special place among folk healers because of its extreme uniqueness. Mucuna is extraordinarily rich in L-Dopa (the precursor to dopamine) and also contains a fair amount of serotonin, another mood-boosting neurotransmitter.
Of course, we recommend eating these superfoods with a healthy serving of plantain as well! Doing so will marginally improve your health and mood.
Find more stories on how to beat depression naturally at BeatDepression.news.