When it comes to managing symptoms of depression and other mood disorders, most people automatically think of utilizing certain prescription medications or possibly therapy. In addition to standard treatments, a less known option for dealing with depression is consuming certain foods.
While it is important to discuss any symptoms of depression with your doctor, certain lifestyle and dietary changes can noticeably boost your mood. In addition to a healthy exercise regimen, eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and key nutrients can have a significant, positive effect on mental issues. Read on to discover the top 6 foods for fighting and managing depression.
- Cold-Water, Fatty Fish
Cold-water, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines should be your first line of defense against depression. These fish contain ample amounts of Omega 3’s which possess potent anti-inflammatory properties and a variety of health benefits.
Salmon, tuna, and sardines contain healthy fats that supply the brain with the nutrients it needs to function at an optimal level. Omega 3’s also contribute to a reduced risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These powerful fatty acids can also be found in high amounts in walnuts, fish oil, and krill oil.
Avocados contain a high amount of healthy, monounsaturated fats that, as mentioned above, help support overall brain health. These rich, buttery fruits also contain a host of other vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, fiber, and protein. The high amount of essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats contributes to overall mood support and balance.
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, and bioflavonoids. According to an article in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, a study testing the effects of antioxidants on mood noted a positive impact on mental health when patients were treated with antioxidants for 2 years.
Turmeric, used medicinally for thousands of years, has been well studied for its wide range of health benefits including anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and anti-cancer properties. Curcumin, a compound in turmeric, is believed to be as effective as prescription medication, specifically Prozac, in some cases of depression.
Whether obtained through foods such as greek yogurt, kefir, fermented cabbage, or a high-quality supplement, probiotics serve a crucial role in managing depression. While probiotics are mostly known for their role in gut health, they also assist the body in decreasing stress and possibly even converting tryptophan to serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a well-known and powerful mood booster.
Eggs, especially from healthy, pasture-raised chickens, boast numerous powerful nutrients proven to fight depression. One of the few food sources of natural Vitamin D, eggs offer an excellent way to obtain the vitamin in cold weather climates where getting Vitamin D from the sun is not always possible. Vitamin D, appropriately named the ‘sunshine vitamin’, is a proven mood booster and supporter of healthy brain function.
Eggs also contain a variety of B vitamins including Vitamin B12. Inadequate levels of B vitamins, especially Vitamin B12, can have a detrimental effect on symptoms of depression.
In addition to the dietary tips mentioned, other resources are available to manage symptoms of depression or other chronic illnesses. Sites such as UpWell.com provide a place to connect with others dealing with chronic issues. Finding support from people in similar situations can lead to a higher chance of successfully managing symptoms.
All in all, depression symptoms can be potentially reduced and managed by consuming one or preferably more of the foods listed above. Eating these foods is a simple way to aim to reduce symptoms and lead a more balanced, happier life.