Depression is getting very common nowadays. There are various things that can lead to depression such as severe emotional tragedy (losing a loved one, relationship breakup, losing job etc), and genetic. Though there are many depression treatments here are foods that fight depression. In order to improve your mental health, focus on three things.
- Healthy Diet and Routine
- Proper consultation and medication
- Adequate Sleep
Depression is a kind of state in which a patient loses interest in almost everything. The bad news is depression can last longer but the good news is it’s completely treatable. Every day new health researches are made on the human body. In this article, I am going to share some of the very best and effective foods that fight depression.
Foods that Fight Depression
First of all, let’s take a look at the nutrients essential to fight depression.
B vitamins are essential for mental balance and well-being. These vitamins like vitamin B6, folate and pyridoxine can cause depression. Vitamin B6 helps to maintain balance in the neurotransmitters that control anxiety to keep you calm. Most vegetables and fruits like avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes etc can be useful to get vitamin B6.
Vitamin E is a popular antioxidant that helps to improve the body immune level. It effectively prevents infections and provides strength to red blood cells. Different foods such as nuts, seeds, wheat, fruits, and vegetables are rich sources of vitamin E. The vitamin is known as one of the most effective depression-fighting foods.
The deficiency of iron can lead to depression. The lack of iron affects most people in the form of anemia. It is mostly present as a sign of PMS in the female. Iron-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, kale, cereals, meats, and legumes are some of the best ones.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are available in fish (salmon, tuna), canola oil and nuts (walnuts). Such acids are best to fight depression. Including Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods can certainly help to get rid of depression.
Calcium induces sleep naturally. People with low calcium suffer from depression and fatigue. You can get calcium from foods like broccoli, milk, dairy products, cheese, orange juice, and tofu.
Carbohydrates produce serotonin that helps to get a good mood. They also raise tryptophan level which helps to produce serotonin. Good carbs like cereals and whole grains are best foods.
Zinc is amongst crucial foods that fight depression. It plays a significant role in metabolism and digestion. Zinc also aids to fight fatigue. Best zinc sources include wheat germ, whole grains, and pumpkin seeds.
Water is a natural solution for improving mind power, promoting a good mood, enhancing motor functions eradicating skin problems. It helps to flush out toxins from the body to remove the toxicity and improve one’s mood.
Selenium is present in seafood, mushrooms, wheat, and poultry. It is amongst the best foods that fight depression. It helps to improve energy in the body and is also known for fighting against cancer.
Best Foods that Fight Depression
Majority of lean protein sources are best foods that fight depression. Turkey contains rich levels of a chemical known as tryptophan which fights depression. Tryptophan helps to stimulate serotonin which is essential for getting rid of depression.
When consumed in moderation, most nuts are an ideal source of heart-healthy mono-saturated fats and protein too. Walnuts are one of the highest plant-based sources of the omega-3 fatty acids. Such acids help to support brain health perfectly.
2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, and wild salmon and bluefish contains a rich level of omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids present in these fishes are best for boosting brain function that helps to fight depression. Such food is also perfect for over health. They reduce inflammation and improve circulation of blood in the body.
3. Low-Fat Dairy
Low-fat cheese, yogurt, skim milk and many other dairy products are loaded with vitamin D, calcium, and protein. These are best for the body in many ways like fighting depression.
Low-fat dairy is one of the richest dietary sources of twp powerhouse nutrient vitamin D and calcium along with specific peptides (protein) that helps to induce a sense of relaxation and well-being.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains contain healthy, high-fiber carbohydrates which makes them best foods that fight depression. Complex carbs are ideal foods to improve mood rapidly. Oatmeal, whole grains, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta and brown rice are all wonderful foods that fight depression. They aid the body to produce serotonin.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. It contains amino acids “theanine” which helps to fight depression. Thianine is naturally found in the tea leaves that promotes anti-stress relaxation benefit to tea lovers.
Turmeric is found in many Asian curry dishes. This bold spice is an ideal food to boost your mood and has numerous health benefits. It is also known as one of the spices of life due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric has active compounds curcuminoids and turmerones. These active compounds are known for many health benefits.
7. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the best foods that fight depression. The dark variety helps to boost your mood. Dark chocolate aids to produce serotonin and also relaxes the blood vessels of your cardiovascular system. Such type of chocolate is extremely calorie-dense containing 150 calories per ounce. Eat just a small piece at a time.
8. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are amongst the healthiest foods available on planet earth. Spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are named to few. Greens like berries, beans, mushrooms, onions, and seeds are some of the most potent immune-boosting and anticancer foods.
Such greens help to fight against all types of inflammation. According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, severe depression is linked to brain inflammation. Dark leafy greens are very important as they have oodles of minerals, vitamins like A, C, E and K along with phytochemicals.
Avocado contains healthy fat that helps to boost brain health. It has oleic acid that supplies strength to the brain. An average avocado contains 4 gram of protein which is higher than other fruits. It is also loaded with various types of vitamin B9B5, B6, B9), vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin E12. They are high in dietary fiber with low sugar.
Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Raspberries are few rich antioxidant foods. Antioxidants work like DNA repairmen. The not only fix your cells but also prevent them from cancer and other diseases.
Mushrooms are best for mental health in two ways.
First, the chemical properties of mushrooms oppose insulin to lower blood sugar levels and elevate your mood. Just like probiotic, they promote healthy gut bacteria.
Second, never cells in gut prepare 80 to 90 percent of the body’s serotonin which is one of the most crucial neurotransmitters. So we can’t afford to neglect the importance of intestinal health.
Onions and other allium vegetables like leeks, garlic, spring onions, shallots, and chives are linked to minimize the risks of many types of cancer.
Foods like onions have anti-inflammatory flavonoid antioxidants which contribute to anticancer properties. There is a strong bond between the digestive track and the brain. Thus, onions help to fight depression.
Tomatoes contain a rich level of alpha-lipoic acid and folic acid that helps to fight depression. A study proved that folate deficiency in depression patients was found mainly.
Focus acid prevents an excess of homocysteine which is the main cause of restricting of essential neurotransmitters production such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the body. Alpha-lipoic converts glucose into energy to stabilize mood.
Beans are good for the healthy heart. They are also known as weight loss and anti-diabetes foods. Beans are ideal for your mood as our body digests them slow to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds are amongst good foods that fight depression as they are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. The fat present in these seeds improves the absorption of protective nutrients vegetables consumed in the same meal.
Apple is probably one of the best foods that fight depression. This fruit is loaded with antioxidants which prevent and repair oxidation inflammation and damage on the cellular level. Apple has soluble fiber which helps to balance blood sugar swings.
Mussels are high with naturally occurring levels of vitamin B12 on earth. Vitamin B12 helps to insulate brain cells and keeps the brain sharp. Mussels contain the trace nutrients selenium, iodine, and zinc which keeps mood-regulating thyroid on a level. Mussels are also rich in protein with low in calories and fats. These properties make them one of the healthiest and nutrient-dense seafood.
18. Swiss chard
The leafy green is loaded with essential minerals like magnesium which is important to the biochemical reactions in the brain. It helps to improve your energy levels.
19. Blue Potatoes
Blue potatoes are not common but they are ideal for improving brain health. They get the color from anthocyanins which are a strong antioxidant that provides neuro-protective benefits such as reducing mood-killing inflammation and bolstering short-term memory. The skin of the blue potato is rich in iodine which helps to regulate your thyroid.
20. Grass-Fed Beef
Such type of beef contains a “happy fat” known as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). This type of fat not only fights stress hormones but also blasts belly fat. Grass-Fed beef has lower fat count with higher amount omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the healthy heart. Lamb is another ideal grass-fed option which has a rich level of iron. Iron is essential for stabilizing mood.
21. Green Yogurt
Greek yogurt has more calcium than regular milk or yogurt. Calcium alerts the brain to produce feel-good neurotransmitters. Improper calcium intake leads to slow thinking, depression, anxiety, impaired memory, and irritability. This type of yogurt has more protein as compared to regular yogurt.
Asparagus is one of the best plant-based sources of tryptophan. Tryptophan promotes serotonin creation in the body. This vegetable also contains rich levels of a protein that fights depression.
Honey contains beneficial compounds such as quercetin and kaempferol that helps to reduce inflammation and keep the brain health. Using honey regularly ensures to get rid of depression.
The egg is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, zinc, and iodide. They are rich in protein and keep you full and energized for a long time. Whether you are looking to get rid of depression, weight loss or build some muscle, the egg is effective for all health and fitness goals.
Coconut has fats known as medium-chain triglycerides which help to keep the brain health and promote better moods.
26. Red Peppers
Red peppers are higher nutrient sources with an excellent amount of vitamin C and vitamin A. A decent survey on nutrient density proved that peppers are amongst the most potent leafy greens. The rich amount of vitamins improves the mood directly and also boosts the immune system.
27. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkins seeds are a perfect source of amino acids known as tryptophan that aids in producing serotonin in the brain.
28. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is popular for improving healthy sleep. It also improves cognitive properties during the day.
29. Blueberry Juice
Darkly colored berries help to lose weight. They decrease the formation of fat cells by up to 73% which can improve your mood alone. The berry family contains a rich amount of vitamin C that fights depression.
30. Canola Oil
Canola oil is one of the best and cheapest sources of omega-3 fats. Using this oil helps to elevate your mood.
Banana is a rich source of a dopamine also known as “the happy hormone”. Using banana in routine diet can be effective to get rid of depression.
Oysters are an ideal source of zinc which is an essential mineral to promote the healthy immune system. Low zinc level can be the reason of depression. Being a rich source of zinc, oysters can be one of the best foods that fight depression.
Bacon contains a rich level of amino acids that helps to fight against depression. You can enjoy it in moderation.
Some other foods that fight depression are
Remember there is nothing you can’t achieve once you aim for it.
Depression is linked with darkness, so whenever you are depressed to get outside and get some sunlight.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Consult your doctor, family member, close friends or someone you trust.
Depression is immobilizing. So try to move whenever you feel you can. A morning walk, evening walk etc can be some of the best ways to keep you moving.
Things will be harder but stay positive and strong. Depression is just an illness which is curable with proper diet, consultation, and positive thoughts.