World Health Day

April 7 Is World Health Day

This year’s World Health Day theme is ‘Depression Let’s Talk’.

Depression is a very common mental disorder. It affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries.

Some factors that may increase the risk of depression include:

  • poverty
  • unemployment
  • life events (e.g., a death, a relationship breakup, illness)
  • alcohol and drug use

Depression can negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life. It can lead to poor work performance. It can decrease one’s ability to carry out daily activities and interact with others. It can lead to substance abuse. It can even lead to suicide.

Did you know that nutrition can help with depression?

The following are some nutrition related recommendations to help support mental health.

Limit alcohol intake. Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with anxiety and panic attacks. It also depletes serotonin, which makes people prone to anxiety and depression.

Limit caffeine intake. Caffeine also lowers serotonin levels; and it can lead to poor sleep.

Avoid highly processed, refined sugars. These foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, and then a rapid drop, which increases fat storage, creates cravings, and can cause brain fog, irritability and low energy levels.

Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can also lead to brain fog, irritability and low energy levels.

Don’t skip meals. Eat regular balanced meals to keep your blood sugars, energy levels and mood stabilized.

Some specific foods that promote wellness and may help elevate mood include:

  • Foods that contain vitamin B12 and/or folate (beetroot, lentils, almonds, spinach, liver, chicken, fish).
  • Foods that contain vitamin D (breakfast cereals, breads, milk, vitamin D supplements); and get adequate sun exposure.
  • Foods that contain Selenium (cod, Brazil nuts, walnuts, poultry).
  • Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids (cod, haddock, salmon, halibut, nut oils, supplements).
  • Foods that contain fibre (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes).


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