Depression can have a negative impact on the way we feel, think, and behave, and it can disrupt our lives. It is much more than feeling blue.
This mood disorder is not a sign that something is wrong with us, but it’s a sign that something could be wrong with our brain chemistry.
There are many ways to help ease depressive symptoms such as therapy, medication, art, exercise, and social connections. Besides these treatments, another way to alleviate depression is by eating foods with nutrients that have an antidepressant effect.
The connection between food and mood is based on many scientific studies. Nutritionists suggest that eating a diet rich in mood-altering nutrients can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Here is a list of 12 foods that can help fight depression.
1. Nuts and Seeds.
Almost all nuts and seeds are good for depression because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can alleviate symptoms of depression.
Walnuts, almonds, and pistachios are especially good for depression because they have high amounts of magnesium, which is a natural antidepressant mineral. Magnesium is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including keeping your mental health on track.
Walnuts and almonds are also high in protein, which can ease depressive symptoms related to a lack of serotonin production in the brain.
Vegetables are good sources of magnesium as well as vitamin C, B12, folate, and potassium. They’re also a great way to get a variety of nutrients into your diet to prevent a deficiency that may cause depression.
Fresh produce, such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes, can help fight depression. A diet rich in vegetables has lower levels of depression because of the higher levels of vitamin C and folate found in fresh produce which has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing depression.
Avocados contain many nutrients that help regulate mood and neurotransmitters in the brain which can lead to feeling happier more often!
They are loaded with monounsaturated fats, potassium, B vitamins, and fiber.
Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats that help regulate hormones in the body that can improve mood.
Potassium helps to reduce stress by relaxing muscles in the brain and reducing inflammation throughout the body.
And B vitamins play an important role as cofactors for enzymes responsible for serotonin production which is intimately linked to mental health.
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that have been linked to reduced inflammation and better brain health—both of which can help fight depression symptoms.
The blueberry is the only fruit that contains anthocyanins and they are what give the blueberry its deep, dark color. The anthocyanins help with mood disorders and depression, as well as cardiovascular disease prevention.
5. Dark Chocolate.
Dark chocolate may be a natural antidepressant because it is an excellent source of flavonoids and other nutrients that can help fight depression.
Scientists believe that the flavonoids in chocolate react with substances in the brain to produce a mood-improving reaction. Dark chocolate is also rich in magnesium, which has been shown to have a calming effect on the body and mind.
People who eat more dark chocolate report feeling less stressed, more satisfied, and more positive than people who eat regular milk chocolate.
6. Red Wine.
There are many studies conducted about how drinking red wine can reduce stress and anxiety levels, but it can also reduce depression because of an ingredient called resveratrol which has antidepressant properties.
Resveratrol is a chemical compound that prevents the production of a protein called GSK3B which is linked to mood disorders including depression.
Avocados are a good source of nutrients. They are full of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Avocados can help fight depression by providing the nutrients to maintain a healthy diet and increase happiness.
Avocados help by increasing happiness levels, which is an effective treatment for mild or moderate depression.
8. Green Tea.
Research suggests that green tea is an effective way of fighting depression.
Studies have shown that green tea provides a wide range of health benefits, including alleviating depression.
This may be because green tea has an antioxidant effect and protects against oxidative stress. Green tea also contains L-theanine, which may inhibit overactive nerve transmissions in your brain and cause feelings of calmness and relaxation.
Cherries are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the production of serotonin. Serotonin can be a mood booster and help relieve the symptoms of depression.
The cherry’s color also plays a role in this because it is believed that people with depression have lower levels of melatonin, which are produced by the brain upon exposure to light. When we eat cherries, we can get more melatonin and this, in turn, makes us feel better.
10. Citrus Fruits.
Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, and limes which are high in vitamin B and can help your moods by giving you a natural energy boost and increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Bananas are rich in magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxant. It can reduce the symptoms of depression. Magnesium reduces anxiety levels and increases calmness in people with generalized anxiety disorder. Bananas are one of the best sources of this mineral.
12. Leafy Greens.
Many people are surprised to learn that leafy greens can help fight depression. Leafy greens are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin K1, all of which play important roles in regulating mood. Leafy greens also provide a host of other nutrients which may boost mood-like Vitamin C and folate.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale have been shown to increase the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, both of which can improve mood.
Try one or more of these foods that can help alleviate depressive symptoms. Some, of course, have a more noticeable effect than others. Dark chocolate, for example, has been shown to improve mood within two hours of consumption in people who are not depressed.