Depression is a psychological condition caused by a variety of chemical and environmental factors. However, studies generally reveal that people suffering from depression have higher serotonin levels than their non-depressed counterparts. Several studies have shown that this neurotransmitter’s balance may be improved with the consumption of brown rice although there is some debate among the scientific community. However, this is one of the foods that nutritionists have recommended for those who are depressed over fatty or sugary foods like pizza or cheesecake.
Brown rice is particularly rich in healthy low-fat carbohydrates. Researchers have found that these so called “smart” carbohydrates can stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain. As the serotonin levels in patients with depression rise, they start experiencing an improvement in their symptoms because the neurotransmitter chemical balance is restored. It’s important to realize that brown rice alone is not a treatment for depression, but it can work along with antidepressants to help increase mood.
The effects of higher serotonin production are fairly well understood in the medical community and those taking antidepressants that increase serotonin levels. Mood tends to improve and people end up feeling less anxious and irritable. Those whose serotonin levels are inflated through drugs or diet feel more relaxed with a greater ability to focus on specific tasks.
It’s the chemicals that are in brown rice that allow an increase in serotonin levels. Folic acid, for instance, is known to simulate brain development and the function of brain cells. Folic acid promotes relaxation, improved mood and greater concentration. These positive effects can mitigate the negative effects that people with depression often experience.
Vitamin B1, vitamin B3 and a variety of minerals present in brown rice also stimulate the functioning of the brain and the nervous system. They have a positive effect on serotonin and on other neurotransmitters as well. These vitamins and minerals have a positive effect on the general health by boosting immunity and energy.
Brown rice is a food with a low-glycemic index. This means that the glucose contained in it is released into the bloodstream gradually. This allows for the blood sugar levels to stay largely unaffected after meals. In this way, blood sugar spikes and lows are effectively prevented. These fluctuations are known to cause mood swings that are particularly strong in people with depression. Brown rice can prevent mood swings and give you substantial depression relief as part of an overall depression treatment plan.
There are other health benefits as well. Soluble fiber in this type of rice promotes the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. In this way, the nutrients coming from food will be better absorbed by the body. As a result, the functioning of all organs and systems, including the brain, will be stimulated. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and promotes heart health. In this way, it can aid for the reduction of the negative effects of depression on the heart and the entire cardiovascular system.
Now you know how brown rice can help fight depression. This food has a wide variety of benefits, including serotonin production stimulation. It is perfectly harmless to enjoy as well. One important thing depression sufferers should know is that the best possible results can be obtained from the cooking of natural rice produced organically.