Did you know that what you eat every day could significantly lift your spirits or bring you down? For people suffering from depression, this is all the more true. While counseling and medicines can help, following a healthy diet and changing lifestyle habits can go a long way. Though there is no magical diet for patients, you can benefit if you know the foods to eat and avoid depression.
Foods to eat for depression:
- Vitamin D
It helps to alleviate depression symptoms, according to research. You can get vitamin D from beef liver, oily fish, fortified dairy foods, and eggs.
- Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish like salmon can reduce risks of mood swings and brain problems by boosting brain functions.
According to scientists, selenium present on Brazil nuts, whole grains, seafood, and organ meats can improve one’s mood and lessen anxiety in people with depression, making it to the list of top foods to eat for depression.
These can eliminate free radicals from the body and prevent oxidative stress, which may cause depression and anxiety. So, consuming fresh fruits like berries and fresh vegetables can help as these are loaded with antioxidants.
- B vitamins
Foods rich in vitamin B12 and B9 can be especially useful for protecting your nervous system and brain functions. Foods like meats, eggs, fish, and oysters can help to alleviate signs of depression. Folate-rich foods are equally beneficial for depression, and you can get these in dark leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, fruits, meat, seafood, and eggs.
This mineral is known for boosting the immune system and can have a profound effect on depression. You will find zinc in whole grains, beef, chicken, oysters, pumpkin seeds, and nuts.
These are needed for optimal body growth and can also prove useful for people with depression. Tryptophan is a protein used by the body for producing serotonin or “feel good” hormone. You can get tryptophan from turkey, chickpeas, and tuna fish.
Foods to avoid for depression:
When you have depression, you should keep away from alcohol because it works like a trigger.
- Refined foods
Fast and processed foods are low in nutritional value and dense in calories. Processed foods have added sugar and refined carbohydrates that can enhance the risks of depression. The body’s energy levels start to rise first and then suddenly crash. Trans fats present in processed meals and red meats are also best avoided.
- Fruit juices
The fiber present in these can keep you feeling full, but it slows down how the blood absorbs energy. So, it is best to eat whole fruits instead of adding sugar to it to make juices. Alternatively, drink more water for hydrating the body.
- Diet sodas
These are best avoided if you have depression as diet drinks can have a lot of caffeine, which aggravates the condition.
This is present in chocolate, coffee, sodas, and energy drinks, and when consumed in excess, the signs of depression may increase. A small amount can help reduce anxiety and lift spirits, but it is not recommended for youngsters.
- Light dressings
Even the so-called “light” or “sugar-free” dressings should not be trusted, as these get sweetness from artificial sweeteners that are linked to depression.