4 Foods That Should Be Avoided By People With Bipolar Disorder

4 Foods That Should Be Avoided By People With Bipolar Disorder

It’s only natural to constantly worry about a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. While medications and regular therapy is a step forward, it is essential to know that a good night’s sleep, an active lifestyle, and a healthy diet can benefit a person suffering from the disorder. 

Keeping the effects of bipolar disorder in control is crucial. One may ask if there is a specific diet recommended for bipolar disorder. The answer to that is no, though many studies have demonstrated the good and bad effects of certain types of foods. This article includes foods that can aggravate bipolar disorder as well as those that can help manage its symptoms. 

Let’s start with caffeine!
Too much caffeine can negatively affect moods as well as sleep cycles. The good part is that it doesn’t need to be avoided completely but only moderated. Cutting back completely on caffeine abruptly is something that’s not recommended as it could set off some major mood swings. So if your loved one wants to practice abstinence from coffee, then it should be done slowly. They should gradually decrease the frequency of caffeine to avoid sudden effects such as irritability, headaches, and fatigue. 

Say no to fats
People with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop chronic diseases like obesity that could trigger other health problems. So your loved one’s diet should have limited or no saturated and trans fats at all. When high amounts of such foods are consumed, they can alter the effectiveness of bipolar medications. These should be swapped with healthier options like low-fat dairy items, lean protein, fatty fish, salads, and whole grains. 

Keep alcohol out of the picture
Worse than caffeine and processed fats, alcohol can detrimentally change moods and also interact with medications. Moreover, it affects the communication between the brain cells and could be a potential trigger for depression, which is the last thing you’ll want for a person dealing with bipolar disorder symptoms. Consistent consumption of alcohol can also lead to permanent impaired brain function and increase the risk of dementia and weight gain. 

Watch that sugar
Having high amounts of sugar can lead to obesity. Similarly, it could react with the bipolar prescription medicines that could hamper the treatment’s progress. If your loved one has a craving for sweets, then they can try nutritious alternatives such as fresh fruits, dark chocolate, fruit smoothies, yogurt parfait, fruit ice pops, organic peanut butter, and sorbet.   

Now that you know which foods to avoid, here are some foods that can help keep bipolar disorder symptoms in control. 

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the smooth functioning of nerve cells in the brain. Some excellent sources of this nutrient can be found in:

  • Eggs
  • Trout 
  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Sardines
  • Flax seeds
  • Tuna
  • Herring

Foods rich in selenium
A trace mineral, selenium is vital for the functioning of a healthy brain, i.e., it helps you maintain a steady mood. You can obtain selenium from the following foods. 

  • Turkey
  • Shrimp
  • Ham
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Brazil nuts

This lean meat contains abundant amounts of an amino acid known as tryptophan, which can help induce sleep. It also helps the body produce serotonin that keeps mood swings under check. 

Good bacteria like probiotics can help fight bad ones in the body. Some researchers also believe that these could help improve one’s emotional health as some of them release serotonin to calm the mind. Saffron
Some studies have demonstrated that saffron has antidepressant-like qualities that can be of significant help for a person suffering from bipolar disorder. Incorporating small amounts of saffron in everyday recipes could possibly even reduce the dependence on medications.

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