7 Foods That Are Most Helpful In Fighting Depression
By: Pinki Fri, 07 Aug 2020 1:46 PM
Feeling depressed once in a while is normal when it is related to loss, life’s struggles or an injured self-esteem.
However, when intense sadness and feelings of being helpless, hopeless and worthless become a part of your life and prevent you from functioning normally, you may be suffering from clinical depression, a common but serious mood disorder. Dealing with depression is not easy for the person as well as their family members and friends. However, there is no need to suffer in silence. You can turn to different therapies, medications, meditation, physical exercise and even diet to help combat the condition.
Many foods have been scientifically proven to lift a person’s mood, and you should include them in your diet to help ease your depression in a safe and natural manner. Foods containing nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, tryptophan, vitamin D or B vitamins, have a direct impact on mood.
These foods even boost the effectiveness of antidepressants and also help prevent relapses of depression in the long run.
* Green Tea
ea consumption, especially green tea, is associated with a significantly reduced risk for depression. Bursting with antioxidants and amino acids, green tea can help you overcome depression in a natural way.
A 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that more frequent consumption of green tea was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in the older population living in the community.
A 2014 study published in Public Health Nutrition even shows that higher green tea consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms. When compared with participants consuming just one cup of green tea per day, those consuming more than four cups per day had a 51 percent significantly lower prevalence of depressive symptoms after adjustment for potential confounders.
Another good food for fighting depression is almonds, mainly due to their high magnesium content. Magnesium influences production of serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical. This mineral also affects overall energy production.
In fact, a low magnesium level in the body is linked to depression and other mood disorders.
A 2006 study published in Medical Hypotheses found that magnesium deficiency is the cause of most major depression and related mental health problems. Magnesium-rich foods can help treat the depression symptoms to a great extent.
Cold-water fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight depression.
People with depression usually have low intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal brain functioning by reducing inflammation.
The two main types of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both EPA and DHA are found in very high concentrations in brain tissue and play an important role in nerve function and mood regulation.
A 2004 study published in Lipids in Health and Disease reports that there is enough epidemiological, laboratory and clinical evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in certain cases of depression.
* Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate may increase serotonin levels in the body, which has qualities nearly identical to antidepressants. Also, it contains carbohydrates in the form of sugar, which signals the body to produce more serotonin.
In addition, dark chocolate slows down the production of stress hormones, which in turn reduces anxiety.
A 2011 study published in the ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry found that trainee nurses who consumed 50 grams of dark chocolate for three days had fewer symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. This study suggests that dark chocolate may have a more prominent role in improving emotional and mood generally.
This popular breakfast food packed with protein and other nutrients is another effective food for fighting depression.
Eggs are a good source of zinc, an essential micronutrient that is needed by the body to boost neurotransmitter production and functioning.
By eating foods rich in zinc like eggs, you can fight zinc deficiency as well as depression and possibly other disorders.
Along with zinc, eggs are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, the deficiency of which is linked to depression and other mental health problems.
Whenever you feel low or depressed, simply eat 1 or 2 bananas.
Bananas contain high amounts of tryptophan, which is known for raising the body’s serotonin level. This is just one mood-boosting component in bananas.
Also, it aids in producing tyrosine, the building block for norepinephrine and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters that can influence mood.
Additionally, bananas provide vitamin B6, which your body needs to manufacture serotonin from tryptophan.
They also contain four other B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and folate (B9).
Insomnia, another common symptom of depression, can be treated with bananas. The tryptophan in them can help you fall asleep more easily.
The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in avocados make them an awesome choice for people suffering from depression. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), might increase the volume of gray matter in the parts of the brain responsible for regulating emotions.
Avocados also contain potassium, which is important for mental health and brain function. It aids transporting serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of well-being and happiness. In fact, a low potassium level can contribute to confusion, mood swings and depression.