The depression pandemic is a reality that is here to stay, and its severity simply cannot be overstated. In the recent years, depression rates have been on the steady increase. Sufferers often turn to therapy and/or anti-depressants, but a healthier diet just may be what you need for your overall treatment.
Certain foods have been shown to help fight depression, proving that you can indeed, eat your way to a better and healthier state of mind. Here is a brief look at 7 such foods
Studies have shown a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Vitamin D is an essential brain nutrient and milk is a great source of this nutrient. That said, milk alone may not be enough to give you the right amount of daily vitamin D. You can boost your intake of this nutrient by consuming fatty fish and products fortified with vitamin D such as cereals and juices.
2. Brazil Nuts And Walnuts
Brazil nuts and walnuts are a great source of selenium. This essential mineral works as an antioxidant and protects the body cells, including those in the brain from damage by free radicals. Several studies have shown a link between low selenium levels and depression. You can also get selenium from sunflower seeds and brown rice among other foods.
Turkey and other protein sources including chicken, eggs and soybeans are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan. Your body makes use of this amino acid to make serotonin, which is a crucial player when it comes to your mental wellbeing and specifically, depression.
Scientists have linked beta-carotene with lower depression levels. You can find this essential nutrient in abundance in carrots, as well as pumpkins, cantaloupe, broccoli, collards, spinach, sweet potatoes and collards.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are a rich source of foliate, which you can also get from asparagus and lentils. Foliate is essential to healthy brain function and can help alleviate depression.
6. Fatty Fish
Eating enough of fatty fish like salmon, tuna and herring can help you fight off the blues. This is according to research, which shows that these fatty fish contain polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids which help in how your brain uses some chemicals and by so doing, helps keep away the depression. The conclusion of these studies, succinctly put, has been that low levels of these healthy fats, is in fact a risk factor when it comes to mood instability and depression.
7. Clams and Mussels
A serving of your favorite seafood can actually help keep the depression away. Clams and mussels are rich sources of the B-12 vitamin. A deficiency in B-12 has been linked with depression with studies showing that this effect is as a result of the brain’s capacity to process chemicals that affect moods on account of this deficiency. The B-12 vitamin can also be found in milk and eggs.
You are what you eat. Your mind, just as much as your body is affected by what you choose to include in your diet. While there is not a specific diet that can prevent or even treat depression, the foods highlighted will surely help.