According to the Center for Disease Control, antidepressant drugs are one of the most prescribed medications in the United States. At least 1 out of 20 Americans suffers from depressive symptoms aged with the highest incidence in people 40 to 59 years of age.
Among the easiest way to treat depression is to safeguard the mental health and eating the right food. Proper nutrition along with adequate sleep promotes good health and regular balance in the limbic system or emotion center of the brain.
Although there are no specific food groups that can instantly cure depression, it may ease the symptoms. Eating the right food can help in the overall treatment of depression. Here are some of the best foods to munch on whenever that “depressive feeling” sets in.
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Cashews and walnuts are the best sources of magnesium and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Depression is often related to low magnesium intake. Several studies show that omega-3 fatty acids reduce depression symptoms and promote brain function. The brain composes 80% fats or lipids and several studies shows that good fats correlate to better brain function. In a study of the British Journal of Psychiatry, they found out that the reduction of omega-3 fatty acid in the Western diet parallels to the increase of psychiatric disorders. Walnuts contain one of highest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Grab a handful of either of these two for an energy-boosting effect that can elevate good mood.
Dark and Leafy Veggies
Based on a study of JAMA Psychiatry, leafy vegetables fight against all kinds of inflammation. Also, severe depression has been associated with brain inflammation. These leafy greens contain vitamins A, C, E, K, and phytochemicals that lessen inflammation in the body. As Joel Fuhrman said in his book entitled “The End of Dieting” leafy vegetables contains anticancer and immune boosting effects. Go for Kale, Spinach, and Swiss Chard to get the best nutrients needed to fight depression.
Fruits: Avocado, Berries, and Apples
Avocados belong to the power food group due to the high concentration of healthy fat and Oleic Acid that gives brainpower. These fats feed the brain for that much-needed energy in order to run in top condition. This fruit contains 4 grams of protein and is loaded with vitamin K, C, E12 and several vitamins B like B9, B6, and B5 higher than most fruits. Almost three-fourths of the calories from avocados is monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. Unlike other fruits, avocados are low in sugar but high in dietary fiber with an average of 11 grams per serving.
All kinds of berries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries contain the highest level of antioxidant from all other fruits. These antioxidants assist in the cell-repairing ability of the body, thus promoting healthy skin and good mood. They repair cells within the body which prevents cancer and other serious illnesses from developing. According to the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, patients are seen to have lower depressive symptoms when treated with antioxidants.
An apple a day keeps the bad mood at bay. Apples like berries are overflowing with antioxidants and fiber. They can help repair DNA and inflammation in the body on the cellular level. They are also teeming with fiber that helps in balancing blood sugar swings. Simple sugar is one of the biggest culprits in triggering mood swings.
Tomatoes are full of depression fighters that help promote a good mood. It contains folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid in which both chemicals are good for treating depression. In a research conducted by the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, most patients diagnosed with depression lack folate in their daily diet.