Superfoods are known to have a high concentration of a particular nutrient that can help in improving a certain health condition. Most food items are a combination of multiple nutrients, and to treat a condition you need to take lots of it to notice any change or improvement. As far as Bipolar disorder is concerned, you need a diet that can help improve mood, relieves depression, helps you sleep, and reduces anxiety. You should include these superfoods as much as possible on your menu, based on your dietary recommendations. Given below are some dietary tips to manage bipolar disorder symptoms.
- Legumes and beans
Analysis of people with bipolar disorder has shown that many of them had a severe deficiency of Folate or Vitamin B9. Some foods that are packed with folate are beans and legumes. Include beans, like chickpeas, in your diet twice or thrice a week. Make hummus or soup with beans. Add to a salad, or roast them as a snack.
Healthy fats are crucial for good brain health as about 40% of the brain is made of fat. Avocado helps the brain to be more receptive to serotonin, which is a mood stabilizer. Good fat lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of weight gain. Avocado also helps reduce blood pressure, which can reduce anxiety and stress. You can add avocado to toast, salads, and smoothies.
Is there something better than chocolate to beat stress? That happens because of the presence of phenylethylamine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps reduce depression. When you feel low or if you are having a sugar craving, eat some plain dark chocolate (about 1.5 oz.). Fix yourself a hot or cold chocolate or eat a low-fat, low-calorie chocolate pudding or a tart — this will surely help you feel better.
If you are partial towards organ meat, you can include this too as it is packed with folate. One serving of liver supplies about one and a half amount of the required folate intake. You can make liver patties or stew it or add them to curries or make a pate. Include them twice a week to stabilize your mood.
Spinach is a superfood that contains folic acid and good quantities of vitamins and phytonutrients. Plan your menu to include one serving of spinach every day. Besides spinach, you can include dark leafy vegetables like collards, Swiss chard, bok choy, and kale. Blanche and add them to salads, include them in lasagnas, or just whip up a smoothie.
Tofu is an excellent source of protein and vitamins for vegans. It has a taste that has to grow on you. You can grill it, add it to salads, or stir fry it for a healthy evening snack. Tofu is a low-fat, high-calorie food, and can help reduce hypertension, which is a comorbid condition of bipolar disorder.
There are other superfoods like walnuts, cheese, and fruits like pineapple and Brazil nuts that you can add to your menu regularly.
Most doctors would advise you to record your menu meticulously and enter every single meal. This will help you too to track how you feel on a particular day. You have to understand that bipolar disorder does not occur at the snap of a finger. The symptoms build up over many days. Tracking what you eat and its effect on your mood is one way of helping you plan your menu and help doctors understand the effect of food on your diet. One should keep in mind that the diet will be based on your requirements and responses to certain food items and for that, you yourself can be your best guide.