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People with depression are often prescribed antidepressants to lessen their symptoms. However, eating a rich diet that includes bananas and whey protein may also reduce the symptoms and risk of depression.
Bananas and whey protein contain the amino acid tryptophan. Studies show that the more tryptophan is in a person's diet, the less likely the individual will develop depression. When the body absorbs tryptophan, it produces serotonin, an antidepressant chemical substance in the body. It is believed that people who suffer from depression have lower levels of serotonin in their bodies than those who don’t.
Whey protein is commonly used among athletes who want to build up muscle mass. But adding whey protein to your diet can relieve common depression symptoms, such as:
Whey protein comes from cow's milk and can therefore be added to your diet by drinking a glass of milk each day. It is also commonly ingested as a dietary supplement. Whey protein powder can be purchased at various health food stores and added to smoothies, milkshakes, bread recipes and poured over cereal.
Bananas are also high in tryptophan, and can therefore elevate your mood. Eating a banana shortly before going to bed at night can help prevent or reduce insomnia, a common symptom of depression. It also provides vitamin B6, which can help fight depression symptoms. The more B6, the lower the risk of developing depression, especially as you grow older.
It is important to remember that whey protein and bananas do not cure depression, but rather alleviate some symptoms and risks when added to a healthy diet.
Charlotte Skiles, nutrition consultant and clinical herbalist, talks more about the connection between whey protein, bananas and depression:
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