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Can healthy eating help with depression?

Person pouring a Purition whole food meal shake into a glass from the blending cup.

We’re all aware that we need to take care of our inner-self as much as our outer-self. But can healthy eating and an active lifestyle help to manage and alleviate mental health conditions? Kami shares her healthy eating for depression story…

Depression is one of the most known mental health conditions. It comes with different degrees of severity, one of which is dysthymia. Dysthymia — also known as chronic or persistent depression — is a continuous mild depression that causes feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness, which can lead to a lack of productivity and low self-esteem. These symptoms are constant and often last for years.

But there are ways to counteract this condition where medicine cannot help. I’ve been living with dysthymia from a young age and manage a good life despite the condition. I want to share my healthy eating and dysthymia story and tips in the hopes of inspiring others to achieve their goals.

Living life with dysthymia

I’ve suffered from dysthymia ever since I can remember. After fighting it for years on end, I’m now coming to terms with the condition. It wasn’t easy and it certainly will never leave me for good. I am 29 years old and still taming this beast, but I’ve made huge strides.

Since going to school, I failed to appreciate good grades and the reason why we should learn at all. I mean, why bother? These grades might not even be relevant to my future career. Why make friends if they will never get in touch with me in the future? Why bother with a degree if every single company have their own systems of trading?

This was the kind of self-talk that left me feeling miserable and lonely, so it’s fair to say my lifestyle wasn’t the healthiest. But after working in offices and sitting 8 hours a day for 5 days each week, I developed chronic back and neck pain. Doctors told me that it was a lack of good nutrition and exercise. It was this moment that I knew I had to push myself and make positive changes to my lifestyle — otherwise, I’d end up in a wheelchair.

The diet plan struggle

It was time to make a change. I googled the likes of ‘30-day meal plans’, ‘low carb meal plans’, and ‘easy diets’ and ended up signing up to several newsletters promising a free meal program or a shopping list for the week. I tried so many, but I gave them all up in less than a week.

Why? It was either too much of a commitment or the recipes took too long to make or involved a lot of expensive ingredients, which meant I couldn’t cope financially. Some recipes even involved waking up at 5 am to prep, which simply wasn’t achievable for me over the long-term.

Fast forward five years, after experiencing low mood for far too long and increasing back and neck pain, I forced my brain to stop deterring me from good health. I knew I needed to find simple solutions, which were easy to stick to and would not feel like a burden. They had to be enjoyable. But most of all, I needed to make gradual baby steps before drastically changing my lifestyle.

Making baby steps with Purition

When it came to nutrition, I found many ways to interpret recipes. All I needed was a simple routine and easy-to-make, uncomplicated meals. They had to fill me up with energy and be a good fit for my vegan diet.

Enter Purition. I hesitated a long time, not sure if their products were the solution to my new, long-term healthy lifestyle commitment. Fortunately, they offer discovery sachets to try all the flavours they offer. After ordering and using their Discovery Box — which lasted me for two weeks — I can say for certain that it is easy to stick to. I soon realised that their nutrient-packed vegan pouches were the perfect match for my needs.

Photograph of a large and varied selection of Vegan Purition samples - 13 different flavours.

Instead of going to work on an empty stomach, I blend a Purition powder into my favourite oat milk, grab my car keys and go. I sip it through the morning until my lunch break and I feel focused, energetic. Most of all, I remember things more!

A month later from using Purition, my perception of ‘not being worthy of good health’ has changed to knowing and valuing how important a healthy lifestyle is. I do not fight my inner demon anymore on the subject. And it all started with small, achievable baby steps towards my set commitment.

This sense of reward for not giving up had more impact than I thought! I now implement after-work jogging for 10 minutes, which I can proudly say I stick to. This is an additional baby step I never imagined could counteract dysthymia.

Healthy eating for depression and dysthymia

If you’re suffering from dysthymia and want to make healthy changes to your lifestyle, start with baby steps. Don’t start with the big headlines and fad diets that promise so much, but feel like a burden.

For us, we need simple strategies that are enjoyable and easily slide into our current routines. After a while, we can incorporate more small health changes, without feeling overwhelmed.

If you want to eat healthier in the morning but never got around to doing so, start with an easy solution that doesn’t involve shopping beforehand. Try something that sticks to your principles and is easy to incorporate into your morning routine — such as Purition, a natural wholefood powder for energy and healthy eating.

2 bags of vegan Purition Almond & Pistachio next to portable insulated drinking cup.

If you want to jog in the morning but never wake up early, start by waking up 15 minutes earlier but don’t go jogging. Wait until you feel it no longer a heavy task to wake up earlier. Then go jogging. It’ll feel easier and you’ll be more motivated to get going.

Purition is one of the baby steps I wish I found earlier. It only takes one minute to make from prep to drink. Every day of my new healthy morning routine makes me feel accomplished and rewarded for my consistency. It’s truly been life-changing for me. It’s now clear to me that a good diet and a healthy lifestyle can help to beat depression and counteract dysthymia.

There are healthy eating for depression solutions out there for everyone. You just have to make it worth your while and adapt them to your own needs and personalities, not the other way around!

A huge thank you to Kami for sharing her inspiring story! If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of depression or dysthymia, then seeking help is an essential step towards getting and staying well. There are lots of options for support available, such as your GP and mental health charities like Mind.

If you have already sought help and think Purition may be able to help to improve your lifestyle and help you to manage your condition, we’d recommend starting with a Discovery Box. You can then get a feel for Purition and decide whether it’s a good fit for your lifestyle. If you have any questions, please get in touch by emailing us on hello@purition.co.uk.

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