A Few Ways to Treat Depression With Food
Depression can lead to severe symptoms affecting how you think, feel, and handle activities every day such as eating, working or sleeping. Exercising regularly and having a healthy diet can help you control your depression symptoms. A lot of foods have been proven to enhance a person’s mood. It’s best to add them to your diet to fight against your depression in a natural way.
Basically, foods having nutrients such as B vitamins or vitamin D, tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, have a direct effect on mood. In this article, we will talk about some foods that can help you treat depression naturally. Let’s check out!
Eggs are an ideal food for fighting depression because they are full of protein and other nutrients. Besides, this popular breakfast food is also helpful for boosting neurotransmitter production and functioning thanks to its high zinc content. According to a study in 2013, the deficiency of vitamin D is associated with depression. Luckily, eggs are rich in vitamin D so that they can prevent and treat depression successfully. Along with that, vitamin B12 found in this food is beneficial for forming red blood cells and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which make them an excellent option for people experiencing depression problem. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), might increase the gray matter volume in the areas of the brain that is responsible for regulating emotions. Besides, potassium in this fruit is vital for brain function and mental health. A low level of this mineral can contribute to mood swings, confusion, and depression. Plus, avocados also contain an amino acid named tryptophan, which helps to decrease stress and induce relaxation. Along with that, the monounsaturated fat housed in this fruit can help to deal with depression and postpartum depression. You can include avocados in your smoothies or salads.
Eating 1 or 2 bananas will help a lot in treating depression. The fruit is enriched with tryptophan, which helps to raise serotonin level in the body. It also helps to produce tyrosine, the building block for dopamine and norepinephrine, two important neurotransmitters, which can influence mood. Bananas additionally have four other B vitamins including B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folate). Besides, bananas can treat insomnia that is another common depression symptom. Thus, try eating a banana followed by 1 glass of warm milk before your bedtime to have better sleep.
Being loaded with antioxidants, blueberries have the ability to improve cognitive function and support proper brain functioning. They are highly beneficial for combating depression. According to a 2016 study, blueberries could help to lower the biochemical and genetic drivers behind suicidal tendencies and depression related to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Apart from that, blueberries also come with mood-boosting nutrients such as selenium, zinc, potassium, and B-complex, all of which have a positive impact on neurologic & brain health.
Asparagus assists in raising low folic acid levels, which are associated with depression. In addition, B vitamins housed in asparagus are important for enhancing mood. As per a study in 2015, it’s important to consider vitamin B12 and folic acid for treatment of depression. Besides, it also consists of tryptophan, which helps prevent anxiety and depression and raises serotonin in the brain.
Spinach is one of the superfoods that can fight depression. This dark leafy green is packed with nutrients, such as magnesium, folic acid, and zinc. These nutrients are important for fighting depression symptoms and brain health. Also, they ensure the proper functioning of the muscles and nerves. Folic acid in spinach is helpful for reducing fatigue and elevating a low mood. The folate present in spinach aids regulation of serotonin, which plays an important role in regulating social behavior and determining mood. Folate is additionally known to facilitate the effectiveness of antidepressants. Apart from that, spinach is also high in magnesium, which maintains the proper level of serotonin in the body. You can eat spinach as a green smoothie ingredient or a salad or add it to your hot meals.
- Green Tea
Being loaded with amino acids and antioxidants, green tea has the ability to help you fight against depression. Both black and green teas contain theanine, which is beneficial in psychiatric conditions. This amino acid also possesses psychoactive properties, which decrease stress and increase levels of dopamine in the brain. A 2014 study indicates that consuming green tea has a beneficial effect on depressive symptoms. In fact, consume three to four cups of green tea every day to help improve your overall health and lift your mood as well.
Due to its omega-3 fatty acids, salmon has the power to fight depression. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are the two main types of omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, which play a vital role in mood regulation and nerve function. According to a 2009 study, omega-3 fatty acids are effective at treating depression in both children and adults. In addition, salmon is useful for overall health because it can decrease the overall risk of heart disease and improve circulation. Along with salmon, you can also eat other cold-water fish such as anchovies, tuna, and sardines because they are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Dark Chocolate
Typically, dark chocolate can help to increase the levels of serotonin in the body. It also reduces the production of stress hormones, thus decreasing anxiety effectively. A 2011 study shows that consuming dark chocolate can eliminate the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Along with that, dark chocolate also consists of flavonoid content, which reduces the impacts of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Almonds are filled with magnesium content, which influences serotonin production. This mineral additionally affects overall production of energy. In fact, a low level of magnesium in the body is associated with depression & other mood disorders. Apart from that, almonds also possess selenium that is good for decreasing depressive symptoms. Another mineral found in almonds is zinc that can give brain cells protection from free-radical damage and encourage neurotransmitter production and functioning. You can mix almonds with your choice of fruit or low-fat yogurt or enjoy them as a healthy snack.
- Black Beans
Basically, black beans are packed with folate and magnesium – both nutrients related to depression prevention. According to a research, higher dietary magnesium is linked to lower risk of depression. Besides, high intake of folate among women is associated with lower depression scores. You can mix black bean into salads, stir them into dips or try baking or pureeing them into healthier brownies.
- Lean Beef
Generally, lean grass-fed beef is filled with minerals such as zinc and iron, which help reduce depression symptoms. High zinc intake results in reduced hostility and anger. You can try some grilled steak & veggie kabobs or slice up some lean steak atop a salad to increase your happiness.
When you are feeling depressed, or negatively affected by seasonal change, knowing the right foods to consume can help you fight against those symptoms and keep the problem of depression at bay.