Depression can have a huge impact on all areas of your life. Living with depression can affect your mood, relationships, productivity, and general well-being, and can often be debilitating.
Depression is a common condition and anyone can develop symptoms at any stage of their life. It can be treated with medications and various talking therapies, but there are also ways that you can deal with depression in your daily life. One option is a healthy and balanced diet.
Diet has a significant impact on our mental health, and proper food choices have long been linked to the management of symptoms of depression. While we understand that some of these foods can be difficult to access, it can be helpful to learn more about those that offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to improve your mood.
Foods That Help With Depression and Anxiety
Avocado is the ultimate superfood. Avocados contain many healthy fats that our brain needs. Not only are they delicious, but they also help fight inflammation in the brain and regulate neurotransmitters.
They may be small, but avocados contain 4 grams of protein and are packed with vitamin K, a variety of vitamin B (B9, B6, and B5), vitamin C, vitamin E12, and omega 3.
Dark leaf green
Dark leafy vegetables are high in folic acid, fiber, and other nutrients that can help improve and stabilize mood. They’re also a great source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids that are vital to brain health.
So if you can, try to include lots of leafy vegetables in your diet. Kale, spinach, sprouts, and watercress are particularly beneficial for mental health.
Whether you love berrying yourself or adding them to your favorite yogurt or granola, you will be delighted to hear they are bursting with goodness.
From strawberries and blackberries to blueberries and raspberries, berries are full of cell-repairing antioxidants, including flavonoid anthocyanin, which has been linked to reducing inflammation and reducing the risk of depression.
Depression can cause severe inflammation in the body, so berries’ anti-inflammatory effects can help fight this. They also contain vitamin C, which can help reduce the negative effects of stress on the body.
Nuts can make a huge difference to your mood, health, and wellbeing and can be consumed alone or added to a wide variety of dishes. Walnuts are one of the best additions to your diet if you want to improve your mood and help combat symptoms of depression.
Walnuts are great for overall brain health and are one of the best plant sources of mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. They are also high in protein which helps keep blood sugar levels in balance.
There is evidence that tomatoes, which are high in folic acid and alpha lipoic acid, help the body convert glucose into energy. This can help stabilize mood by helping fight lethargy, a commonly cited symptom of depression.
Seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is scientifically proven that flax, hemp, and chia seeds improve your mood. Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can also help increase levels of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that makes serotonin, an important mood-stabilizing hormone.
A handful of seeds are a great snack, but they can also be added to many different dishes.
Oily fish is a rich source of omega-3 fats. These fats are important for brain health and can affect the function of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays an important role in regulating our mood.
Several studies have also examined the relationship between fish consumption and the risk of depression. An analysis of 26 of these studies found that people who consume the most fish are less likely to have symptoms of depression.
So make sure that your diet includes oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardine, and tuna.
Onions are a tasty and nutritious ingredient that you can incorporate into your daily diet. You can easily use them to complement meals like salads, curries, pastas and casseroles.
Research shows that frequent consumption of onions – a natural mood booster – can help consumers deal with depression. But that’s not all – the superfood is also linked to a reduced risk of digestive cancers.
Mushrooms are good for your mental health as they contain chemical properties that help lower blood sugar levels while improving your mood. They also promote healthy gut bacteria that can stabilize your mood by reducing a common symptom of depression and stomach irritation.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that is an element of the truth. Apples are full of antioxidants and high in soluble fiber that help balance blood sugar and help maintain a stable mood by promoting regular bowel movements.
If you are living with depression, remember that help is out there. Eating a healthy diet, along with appropriate treatment from your primary care practitioner, can help you relieve symptoms of depression.
Alternatively, if you’d like to become a qualified counselor to help others struggling with their mental health, alternatively check out our counseling courses or read our tips on how to help someone with depression.