Most people are not aware of this, but diet plays a huge role in depression. Yes, your lifestyle is a big contributing factor no doubt, but one factor that should not be overlooked is what you eat.
Have you ever noticed that you crave sweet, fatty and salty foods whenever you are feeling down? You are actually not alone. But if you eat better foods like whole grains, lean proteins, fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, you will be able to fend off your cravings for junk food while having sharper mental focus and high energy levels. Here are some good-mood foods you should add to your diet.
Although most lean proteins are good for fighting off depression, turkey has the edge because it has higher levels of tryptophan, a chemical which stimulates the feel-good chemical serotonin.
Most nuts are an excellent source of protein as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Walnuts however have the upperhand as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health.
8) Fatty fish
Fatty fish like bluefish, mackerel, tuna and wild salmon are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids found in these fish also have specific brain-boosting properties that help fight depression. Aside from that, these fatty acids also promote heart health as well as improve blood circulation.
7) Low Fat Dairy
Yogurt, skim milk, low fat-cheese and other dairy products are rich in vitamin D, calcium and protein, all of which can induce relaxation and sense of well-being.
6) Whole Grains
When it comes to foods that fight depression, you can never go wrong with fiber-rich whole grains. The complex carbohydrates found in whole grains are also known to improve mood quickly. Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes and whole whole wheat pasta are all great choices as these foods help promote the release of serotonin.
5) Green Tea
The antioxidants-rich green tea is known to fight off depression. This is because of theanine, the amino acid that features anti-stress properties and are usually found in tea leaves.
This strong spice usually used in spicy Indian and Thai dishes is a great way to improve your mood. Considered as one of the “spices of life” due to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric contains the active compounds curcuminods and turmerones, which have been linked to a wide range of health benefits.
3) Dark Chocolate
Studies have shown that dark chocolate relaxes the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system as well as promote the release of serotonin. Take note though that dark chocolate is especially calorie-rich, with about 150 calories per ounce, so it is advisable to eat one small piece at a time.
One great and delicious way of reducing depression symptoms is by consuming active cultured yogurt packed with probiotics. The incredible connection between the brain and the gut suggests that beneficial microbes in your diet can help produce and transport serotonin and other neurotransmitters. You can use yogurt as a base in nutrient-packed smoothies and homemade salad dressing.
Unfortunately, there is too much soda and other artificially sweetened beverages that are being consumed these days. Countless studies have shown that sugar-loaded diets are linked to increased depression rates. Instead of soda, grab a tall glass of water. You can also enhance the flavor with citrus, berries cucumbers or mint. Rehydrating your body is one sure way to increase your well-being.