7 Foods that Fight Depression
By: Angie Droulias
Depression has been growing like an epidemic throughout recent years. Whether it’s because of the bad global economy, work, relationships or any other personal issue, depression is likely to affect you at some point in your life—after all it does affect 1 in 10 Americans at some point.
When depression knocks on the door, it’s easy to grab a packet of chips or a candy bar for a sense of illusory comfort even though you know the vicious cycle of addictive binge eating is not going to do you any good in the long run. What’s more, eating the wrong foods during a depressive phase might stimulate the symptoms. the symptoms of depression making things worse! But what if you actually binged on something that would really improve your overall mood and health while decreasing your cortisol levels? What if you ate food that could actually make you happy?
Sounds too good to be true, I’m sure! But the following foods are all renowned for their mood-regulating benefits, even if you’re dealing with the worst form of clinical depression and anxiety.
Bananas may be one the most common fruits out there, yet they should be at the top of your superfood list. Not only is this ordinary yellow fruit packed with vital nutrients and energy-boosting qualities, it contains vitamin B6 and the amino-acid tryptophan which both help your body make serotonin (a brain chemical that regulates mood and makes one feel better). It’s no wonder why chimps are so happy all the time!
Another rich source of tryptophan is avocados. This creamy, nutrient-dense fruit aids in stress-proofing your mind with its plethora of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. It contains the master antioxidant guthathione, which not only benefits the mood but the immune system as well. Our immune systems tend to get worn out by anxiety and depression, but avocados can provide just the energy we need to maintain both immunity and a cheerful disposition.
Any kind of berries you can think of—raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, currents, strawberries, Acai berries, Goji berries and the list goes on—are a jam-packed source of antioxidants and vitamins. But did you know that these little fruits can also help you fight depression? Berries are a source of B and C vitamins, manganese and fiber—all of which are needed to elevate your energy and enhance your positivity.
4. Fatty Fish
Eating fish has long been synonymous with a healthy diet. But did you know that fish can help you get over depression? The secret, however, doesn’t lie in the fish itself but the healthy fat around it where all the essential fatty acids are contained (omega-3 and omega-6 types). And there is a lot of evidence linking fatty acid deficiencies to depression. Oily fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout and swordfish can greatly contribute to eliminating symptoms of depression and work towards efficiently stabilizing your overall mood.
These nuts are small, yet dense with nutrients. Almonds are real chargers for the brain and the nervous system and contain B vitamin folate and the amino-acid tyrosine, which work with the neurotransmitter dopamine to create what is perceived in the brain as pleasure. Almonds also power the brain through their abundance of magnesium—a deficiency of which can cause stress and depression.
6. Dark Chocolate
The good news about fighting depression is that you won’t really have to stop eating all that mouthwatering chocolate just to get on an antidepressant diet—all you’ll have to do is switch to dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is rich in pure cocoa (so make sure there is a fair percentage of that in the treat that you choose) which is proven to help produce endorphins and raise serotonin levels, all of which evoke feelings of happiness.
While yogurt is great for battling indigestion and preserving healthy bacterial cultures within the intestinal tract, a recent U.S study, conducted by Dr. Kirsten Tillisch of UCLA’s School of Medicine, has shown that it can aid in dealing with depression, especially in women. Specifically this study proved that women dealing with PMS-related depression and irritability felt much better after consuming probiotic yogurt twice a day for a month.
Try any and all of these foods to help fight depression. Find out what works for you.