Food plays a key role in physical health as in mental well-being, it is a fact. It is therefore not at all by chance that people like to say “We are what we eat”. But can eating healthy and balanced foods help prevent depression? While drug treatments and professional advice are effective in relieving symptoms, natural lifestyle remedies, especially diet, can also improve the well-being of the affected person. Focus on antidepressant foods to incorporate into your daily menu.
A supply of selenium to improve your mood
Some scientific studies suggest that high selenium intake may improve mood and calm anxiety while preventing depression. Foods rich in selenium include the following:
- Whole grains
- Brazil nut
- Certain seafood
Supplements are also available over-the-counter, but we recommend that you seek medical advice before taking the plunge.
Vitamin D helps improve symptoms of depression
A 2019 meta-analysis showed that the sunshine vitamin may improve symptoms of depression. As you already know, humans obtain it through more prolonged exposure to the sun, but food sources are not at all to be neglected. So foods rich in vitamin D are fatty fish, eggs, fortified dairy products, calf’s liver, avocado, mushrooms and more.
Vitamin D supplementation during the gray months is also possible, but it is better to seek medical advice first.
Antidepressant Foods: The Power of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The benefits of omega-3s relate to several aspects of human health, and mental well-being is no exception. Although some studies have suggested that these fatty acids can improve depressive states, scientists say more research will be needed to confirm these findings. Their consumption can reduce the risk of mood disorders and brain diseases while improving brain function. Anti-depression foods that contain the most omega-3s include salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, flax and chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts.
Antioxidants with a thousand virtues for mental health
Antioxidants promote the elimination of free radicals from the human body. If it can’t get rid of them, oxidative stress sets in, which can lead to a number of problems including anxiety and depression. Fresh fruits like berries are an excellent effective natural antidepressant that you absolutely must incorporate into your daily menu. Ginger, dark chocolate, and citrus fruits are the other antioxidant-rich foods to consider at all costs.
Antidepressant foods and B vitamins
Vitamins B12 and B9 protect and support the nervous system, including the brain. Thus, they could help reduce the risk and symptoms of mood disorders such as depression. The best sources of vitamin B12 include eggs, meat, poultry, fish, oysters, milk, etc.
As for vitamin B9 (folic acid), antidepressant foods that are high in it include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Fruits and fruit juices
- Whole grains
- Dairy products
- Meat and poultry
The role of protein in preventing depression
Apart from their restorative function, proteins are also beneficial for people who suffer from depression. The body uses a protein called tryptophan to create serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Tryptophan deficiency is characterized by fatigue, insomnia and stress. To avoid these complications and prevent depression, increase your intake of tuna, turkey, chickpeas, white meats, legumes, etc.
Antidepressant Foods: Can Probiotics Cure Mood Disorders?
Can we consider yogurt and kefir as antidepressant foods? The answer is indeed yes. Why ? So these foods are probiotics that stimulate high levels of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. Having a healthy gut microbiota can reduce symptoms and risk of depression, says a 2016 meta-analysis.
Foods to avoid to better prevent depression
Overusing certain foods can not only trigger depression, but it will also make symptoms worse if you already have them. Foods to avoid include alcohol, processed foods and oils, and caffeine.
*Source used: Medical News Today