21 Must Know Foods that Help with Depression

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Food such as walnuts, coconut, cherry tomatoes, and spinach are known to be effective in fighting depression and anxiety. Other foods that you can help with depression include eggs, honey, whole grain, cheese, asparagus, and dark chocolate. Turkey, red beans, salmon, bananas, beetroot, and sweet potatoes are also a good addition to your diet.

There are many reasons that can trigger depression. There is no specific diet that has been established by researchers to treat depression. However, there are some foods that can help ease your symptoms. Eating certain food can help you feel better. Traditionally known comfort foods include ice cream and chips. These may be high on everyone’s list, but research has shown that eating healthier food can be more effective in fighting depression.

Let’s have a look at twenty-one food that can help you fight depression. Including these in your regular diet can be very effective in fighting off depression.

21 Must-Have Foods for Depression

foods that fight depression

Coconut

In many countries, coconut has been used for cooking and other aspects of food production. Research has shown that eating coconut can affect your mood. Coconut milk, when eaten in moderation, can help to improve your body functions. It can also help rebuild tissue. However, the important thing to remember is to have it in moderation.

Eating too much coconut milk can lead to unhealthy weight gain. You also need to ensure that you do a proper amount of exercise if you are having coconut milk. Fresh coconut has some fats that can enhance your mood. You can eat coconut shavings. This will not only improve your mood, but it also helps in improving your brain’s health.

Walnuts

This superfood is packed with goodness and is one of the best foods for depression. It contains protein, essential omega fats, and fiber. There plenty of reasons to include walnuts in your diet. However, the added effect it has on your mood is one of the key reasons why it is on this list. There are three essential nutrients or features that can help you fight depression.

Walnut contains magnesium. This can help in boosting your mood and making you feel happy. It also helps in making your body strong and with healthy cell growth. Walnuts are also helpful in the production of insulin. Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. These help your brain become more active. These also help you to improve neural connections.

Cherry Tomatoes

These super-cute foods are very popular across the world. They can be easily included in your diet through salads and sandwiches. You can easily get cherry tomatoes from the supermarket. These are also great for fighting off depression.

Cherry tomatoes contain important antioxidants that are good for enhancing your mood. Regular tomatoes are also rich in these antioxidants. You need to cook the tomatoes till the skin is wrinkled. You can also add healthy oils like olive oil, virgin coconut oil or canola oil. These will help release lycopene and make it available to your body to use.

Spinach

There are many health benefits of this green vegetable. One of these is its great impact on your mental health. Spinach is rich in iron. It also has a high content of folic acid. This is responsible for making you feel good and hence. Folic acid is essential for boosting your immune system. It also helps to improve the health of your red blood cells. Overall, spinach is a great food for depression.

Regular eating of spinach makes your immune system stronger. This way you can ward off infections and ailments which can cause you to become sad and unhappy. Spinach can be easily included in your diet. It can be used in many ways in meals and salads. It is also a great way to boost your iron intake.

Eggs

This traditional breakfast staple is great at preventing hunger. It can also stop you from having unnecessary cravings. Feeling full helps you be more active and also keeps you happier. Eggs are also loaded with protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and Vitamin B. They are important to help your body function at its peak throughout the day.

Starting your day with eggs is a great way to ensure you have enough energy for all your chores. Eggs fill you up which helps to prevent excessive intake of junk food. It also helps you maintain healthy body weight. You can also avoid blood sugar spikes that come from unhealthy snacking. When you feel good about your body, you feel happier and also avoid junk food.

Honey

Honey is a great substitute for sugar in your everyday diet. Sugar in your food can lead to spikes in your blood sugar and other health problems. Honey, on the other hand, is completely organic and is a great alternative sweetener for your foods. It helps boost your immune system and is also good for treating colds and coughs.

But most importantly, honey makes you happy. It also keeps you active. This is because there are two important elements present in honey. These are kaemferol and quercetin. These help in improving the health of your brain. These also help reduce inflammation of your brain. Strawberries dipped in honey also make a great aphrodisiac which is sure to improve your mood.

Whole Grain

There is a lot of misconception in the world about carbohydrates. While some carbohydrates are definitely bad for your health, there are others that can greatly benefit you. These are able to help you fight depression and sadness. Products made of whole-grain can actually make you happier.

Whole grain products can relieve constipation and clear your bowels. A healthy bowel means an active you. It also makes you happier as you are not constantly stressed about your bowel movements. Whole grain products also contain selenium. This helps in boosting your immunity. When you are not constantly falling ill, you’ll definitely feel happier.

Cheese

When eaten in the right quantities, cheese has the power to make you feel happier. Cheese is a rich source of zinc. This is one of the key nutrients that you need to fight depression. The human body doesn’t produce adequate amounts of this mineral. Having cheese in regulated quantities is a good way to ensure you get this important nutrient. Zinc is also helpful in building your cognitive responses.

However, the key is to regulate the amount of cheese you eat. Eating too much can be fattening. It is also difficult for your body to digest. This can lead to gain weight and feel worse about yourself. That is why you need to strictly follow moderation in your cheese consumption. In regulated amounts, cheese can make you feel happier and fight depression.

Asparagus, great food for depression

Folic acid is an important nutrient that helps you fight depression. People with low levels of folate in their body are prone to suffering from depression. Instead of popping folate supplements and pills, you can try adding asparagus to your diet. This is rich in folates. It also contains high amounts of tryptophan.

This nutrient helps to produce serotonin in your brain. Serotonin helps to stabilize your mood. Eating asparagus is a great way to improve your mood as it is rich in both these nutrients. You can easily include this vegetable in your diet in the form of stir-fries and other dishes.

Dark chocolate

We all know that chocolate is one of the traditional comfort foods that we eat when we are sad. Turns out, it is also very helpful in fighting depression. Cocoa is one of the most potent sources of dopamine, serotonin, and phenylethylamine. These are responsible for keeping away depression and also giving you a feel-good factor.

Dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants. These improve your blood and also prevents premature aging. It is also a great way to lose weight which helps to improve your body image. Dark chocolate is easy to include in your diet and available widely across the world. Just make sure that you have it in regulated amounts to enjoy the benefits without any side effects.

Turkey

Make this protein part of your regular diet. Not just for a Thanksgiving dinner. Wondering why? It is because turkey is a great source of tryptophan just like asparagus. Including turkey in your diet is a great way to ensure you get enough of this nutrient in your body. It helps to produce serotonin which stabilizes your moods.

You can include turkey in your sandwiches and other meals. It is a delicious way to fight depression. The meat is also a great source of protein and other essential nutrients that help you stay healthy. Staying healthy also keeps you feeling happy. You remain active and your mood also improves.

Salmon

Salmon is a great food that helps you fight depression. It has been recommended by nutritionists across the world for its numerous other health benefits. Let’s have a look at how it helps to ward off depression. Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These are essential in reducing your blood pressure and cholesterol.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also good for reducing inflammation in your body. Moreover, the fats found in salmon are excellent in maintaining your brain and your nervous system. The healthy fats present in this fish helps to improve your brain. This keeps your brain healthy and in turn, keeps you feeling happy.

Red Beans

Keeping your brain healthy and active is one of the key ways to fight depression through your diet. One way of doing this by eating food that contains amino acids and other nutrients that help to keep your brain healthy. Red beans are one such food that is excellent in keeping your brain fit.

Red beans are a rich source of essential amino acids. They are available in far greater quantities than what is found in berries. These amino acids along with the iron present in red beans help to maintain the health of your brain. It is also a good source of protein if you’re are a vegetarian. However, make sure you soak these beans overnight before you cook them. Otherwise, it can cause flatulence.

Beetroots

Beetroots are one of the most important vegetables that you can include in your diet to fight depression. These are loaded with nutrients that are effective in helping you ward off sadness and depression. Beetroots are a rich source of folate. As explained earlier, folate is a key nutrient that helps fight depression.

Beetroots also contain high amounts of magnesium. These are also directly responsible for fighting depression. Beetroot also contains uridine. This nutrient is a great neurotransmitter. It helps to enhance your mood and keep you feeling happy. You can easily include beetroots in your diet. They are good in salads or tasty dishes such as borscht.

Banana, perfect food for depression

Banana is another breakfast staple that is great at helping fight depression. These are loaded with tyrosine. This is an amino acid that produces dopamine. This is also known as the “happy hormone”. Research shows that there is some relation between low levels of this amino acid and depression.

Eating enough bananas ensures that you get enough tyrosine in your system. Bananas are also good for providing energy. It helps in promoting a healthy nervous system and in the development of your cells. Feeling angry, low, stressed, depressed or irritable can also mean that you are low on Vitamin B. Bananas can also help you get enough Vitamin B that keeps your mood stable.

Sweet Potatoes

Research has shown that low levels of carotenoids in older men and women can lead to depressive symptoms. Eating sweet potatoes is a great way to ensure you have enough carotenoids. This can be helpful in fighting depression. It is also rich in Vitamin B6. This is also helpful in preventing depression.

B6 and carotenoids are helpful in enhancing your mood. They help to keep your mind stable. B6 has been used to treat people with mood disorders. If you are feeling depressed, you can try to include more sweet potatoes in your diet. It will help you feel more optimistic. Being optimistic will also make you eat healthier.

Grass-Fed Meats

Studies have shown that grass-fed meat is healthier than cattle that have been bred in a factory. Cattle that have been fed on grass also have a much higher level of “happy” fats. These are helpful in fighting stress hormones that are produced in your body. Organic meats are very good in promoting good health.

You can also try the grass-fed lamb. Not only is it organic, but it is also packed with iron. Iron is very important for providing you with a stable mood. If you include plenty of grass-fed lamb in your diet you can make sure that you are getting enough iron. This will keep the areas of your brain related to memory and mood supplied with iron. Your mood will be stable.

Greek Yogurt

Full-fat Greek yogurt is a great brain booster and hence makes it to the list of best ‘foods for depression. This is because the fats present in the curds are rich in the nutrients need to help you have a healthy brain. It is also rich in calcium. It has much more calcium than regular yogurt or milk. Calcium is what gives your brain the command to release feel-good neurotransmitters.

If you don’t have enough calcium in your body it can result in you feeling anxious, irritable and depressed. You can also suffer from slow thinking and impaired memory. Greek yogurt can help you get enough calcium. It is also packed with protein which makes it a great snack for those who are looking to lose weight.

Blue Potatoes

This exotic vegetable is, in fact, one of the best foods for depression. The color of the blue potatoes comes from a substance called anthocyanin. This is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect your brain. It can effectively boost short term memory.

It can also help in reducing inflammations that can become mood-killing. The skins of the potatoes are packed with iodine. This is yet another nutrient that is important for maintaining a healthy mind and body. Iodine helps to prevent thyroid. This can prevent you from getting saddened or depressed as the thyroid controls your moods.

Chamomile Tea

If you feel depressed due to the cold weather, this is probably because your body isn’t getting enough natural light. This causes your body’s natural rhythm to break and makes it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep. As a result, you feel dull and drowsy in the mornings. This can cause exhaustion and, in a person, suffering from depression, this can be quite a miserable time. You can drink chamomile tea to solve this problem. Not only does it help you sleep better, but research has shown that it is good for your cognitive functioning during the day.

You can replace your carbonated beverages with this herbal tea to help you fight against depression. It helps to soothe your brain and keeps it active during the day. Carbonated drinks are loaded with sugar which is have been linked by researchers with depression. The artificial sweeteners found in these drinks are thought to be responsible for causing depression.

Mussels

If you are a big fan of seafood, then this is one food that you must include in your menu. Mussels are great at helping fight depression. This is because they have some of the highest levels of naturally occurring Vitamin B12. The content is more than any other food available on the planet!

Vitamin B12 helps to insulate your brain cells. This means that it helps to keep your brain sharp even as your body ages. Mussels are also a good source of trace nutrients like zinc, selenium, and iodine. All of these are responsible for keeping your thyroid in control. Thyroid is the hormone responsible for controlling your moods. Mussels are also one of the healthiest plates of seafood that you can try. They are packed with nutrients and are also low in calories and fat.

Conclusion

While there is no scientifically proven diet that can be considered a cure for depression, you can try these foods to help fight the causes. These are usually easily available and also have other health benefits for your body. However, don’t take these as alternates to professional help or medication for treating depression. If you are on medication, then it is best not to discontinue them.

Please talk to your doctor before you decide to undertake any steps to treat your depression. Also, be mindful of any allergies that you may have with any of the above food. Professional help is the best way to fight depression. Visit a psychologist and try therapy first. You can try to include these foods in your diet along with the other suggestions that your doctor gives. This will help you get a more holistic healing.

Read more: 11 Foods That Fight Post-Partum Depression

References:

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/diet-recovery#1

www.health.com/depression/best-foods-depression#oysters-zinc-depression-foods

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3360996/

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