Depression Gene Identified: 5 Foods You Must Have for a Healthy Brain

Depression Gene Identified: 5 Foods You Must Have for a Healthy Brain

Highlights
  • A new study has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience
  • It has identified a gene that may have a link with depression
  • The study shows how the levels of this gene can affect our mood
A new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, shows that a particular gene may be responsible for amplifying or reducing stress, depending on its level of activity and thus, triggering the risk of depression. This particular gene is known as Slc6a15 and its link with depression has been found in both animals and humans. 

The study throws light on how the levels of this gene can affect our mood. For the study, the team conducted experiments using a mice model and also looked at the brains of humans who had a history of major depression and those who had committed suicide. Their findings suggest that people with altered levels of this gene in certain brain regions may have a much higher risk for depression and other emotional disorders related to stress. However, it is not clear exactly how Slc6a15 works in the brain. Researchers speculate that it alters the levels of neurotransmitters levels in the brain which had been proved by other studies too. 
Your brain health not only depends on environmental factors such as these but your lifestyle and diet also play an important role in it. Our brain works in mysterious ways and how our body feels is actually decided by the master-mind. A bar of chocolate does the trick while a glass of alcohol acts a depressant. Simply, because these contain chemicals that affect the human brain which could make you feel like you are on cloud nine or down in the dumps. These five foods are the best ways to feed your brain and boost mental health.

1. Spinach

We've known these leafy greens as a powerhouse of nutrients but what we do not know is that they could do wonders to your mental health. It is rich in Vitamin K and Folic acid that helps the brain function with ease. It also helps boost memory and prevent dementia.
 
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2. Oranges

It is a great source of Vitamin C and is considered to be a healthy brain food. It helps you feel fresh and active. Research has found that Vitamin C helps normalize your blood pressure when under stressful situations.
 
oranges

3. Dried Apricots

Dried apricots contain more nutrients than other forms. They are rich in magnesium, which acts a natural stress-buster and helps to calm tensed muscles. A deficiency of magnesium is known to cause headaches and leaves you fatigued.  Apricots contain Vitamin B that helps to cure nervous system disorders like hyperactivity, memory loss and mental fatigue.

4. Chocolates

You'll obviously agree that chocolates spread happiness and science does too. They contain endorphins, which causes the brain to release happy feelings. They satisfy your sweet cravings and work well for your grey matter too. The cocoa in chocolates helps boost neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and tryptophan in your brain. These neurotransmitters work as antidepressants.

(Also read: 6 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate)
dark chocolate


5. Walnuts

Here's a new reason to chomp on walnuts. They are rich in omega 3 oils that help maintain a strong and healthy brain. Since 60 percent of our brain is made up of fat therefore these help the brain function more actively. Omega 3 also fights depression. Walnuts contain zinc that acts as healing agent against stress.
 
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With a disturbing number of depression cases and various mental disorders slowly sweeping the world, it's time we stop thinking so much and tread the healthy way. So relax, take a deep breath and cook up a happy meal for yourself.

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