Depression is considered as one of the biggest causes of several diseases. Depression can disrupt mental health, daily work, even in extreme cases, making people not want to live anymore. While mental health problems are still considered taboo in some countries, it’s time we recognize depression as a serious health disorder like other illnesses and start talking about it.
Poor lifestyles can contribute to depression. Therefore, some healthy habits are proven to help overcome the symptoms of depression. One healthy habit that is still often ignored by many people is to maintain a good and proper diet.
Health experts agree that certain nutrients not only can improve your mood but also can help increase energy levels, improve mental focus, and even combat inflammation in the brain. Find out the best foods to fight depression from the review below.
12 Best Foods to Fight Depression
What you eat will not only affect the health of your body but also affect the ups and downs of your mood. For example, too much sugar intake, rice, bread, or pasta can actually damage your mood – inversely proportional to what we believe so far.
“There is no specific food known to be effective against depression,” said Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RD, CDN, national spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as an author of The Belly Fat Fix and Overcoming Binge Eating for Dummies, reported by Medicine Net.
The best thing you can do is eat healthily, Cohn explained. A healthy and balanced diet overall, which provides all the essential nutrients for the body, can help a lot when someone is struggling with depression.
Also read: Overcome Depression by Sleeping
Foods that must be consumed to overcome depression
Because what you eat affects your mood, you must aim your daily food choices on the types of foods that work to improve your intestinal health. The reason, microorganisms that live in your stomach produce so many nerve chemical compounds. These neural compounds made from good bacteria play a role in building mood and other nerve functions. So, balancing intestinal bacteria through the consumption of probiotics such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria helps improve mood.
For the sake of “eating to be healthy”, consume epigenetic foods that promote general health, improve sleep quality, and improve your mood. For example, serotonin is a happiness hormone that can help you be more energized and sleep better. Eat foods like Arabic beans, rich in tryptophan, which is a pioneer of serotonin.
Balance your mood and prevent depression by eating these following foods as well:
1. Dark green leafy vegetables
According to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry, major depression has been linked to brain inflammation. Green vegetables are very important because they contain enormous amounts of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as minerals and phytochemicals.
In addition, free radicals produced in our body contribute to cell damage, aging, and organ dysfunction. Studies show that the brain is vulnerable to free radical damage. Antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamins C and E function to fight the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants have been proven to bind to free radicals and take over their negative effects.
Although there is no way to stop free radicals completely, we can reduce their damaging effects on the body by eating foods rich in antioxidants as part of a healthy diet, for example by adding broccoli, spinach, asparagus, or kale to your daily diet.
Walnuts are not only good for healthy snacks but are also proven to maintain cognitive acuity thanks to their alpha-linolenic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that is useful for improving brain function and managing depressive symptoms.
Besides being rich in omega-3s, walnuts also contain high selenium. Several studies have shown a link between selenium deficiency and depression. Several other additional studies have also shown that adequate selenium intake can reduce depressive mood symptoms.
A number of polyphenols contained in walnuts are also proven to prevent memory loss. Walnuts can even reverse signs of brain aging.
Avocados contain healthy fats that your brain needs in order to function perfectly. Three-quarters of the total calories of avocados come from fat, which is mostly saturated fat in the form of oleic acid.
Enriched by glutathione, a substance that specifically blocks the absorption of certain fats in the intestine that cause oxidative damage, avocados also contain lutein, beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin B (B9, B6, B5), vitamins C and E12, and more folate compared to other fruits.
Avocados in general are also rich in protein (4 grams), higher than other fruits. High protein food sources are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which can help increase the production of serotonin as a mood-regulating hormone. Try to include good sources of protein, such as avocados, in your diet several times a day, especially when you need to clear your mind and increase your energy. But, don’t forget to calculate the portion.
Also read: BEST Vitamins and Supplements for STRESS
Berries – Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries – are one of the families of fruits that contain the highest antioxidants, but blueberries are ranked first in this family. Blueberries are enriched by antioxidant anthocyanins which have been linked to cognitive acuity. In addition, blueberries, as well as other berries, are rich in vitamin C which is believed to effectively combat stress and reduce blood pressure.
In a study published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, patients who had been given antioxidant treatments for two years had depression scores that were significantly lower than those treated with placebo.
5. Garlic and onions
Garlic is enriched with a number of powerful antioxidants. These chemicals neutralize free radicals and can reduce – even help prevent – some damage caused by free radicals, over time. One of them is allicin, which has been linked to the prevention of heart disease, even the common cold. Because stress and depressive moods weaken the body’s immunity, garlic needs to be included in your daily diet in order to strengthen your immune system.
Garlic and all other onion families (onions, onions, leeks, chives/leeks, leeks) have also been linked to a reduced risk of several types of cancer, especially cancers of the digestive tract. These vegetables also contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids that contribute to their anti-cancer properties.
Tomatoes contain a lot of folic acids and alpha-lipoic acid. Both are good for dealing with depression. According to research published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, many studies show an increased incidence of folate deficiency in patients with depression. In most studies, about one-third of depressed patients lack folate.
Folic acid can prevent excess homocysteine – which limits the production of important neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine – from forming in the body. Alpha-lipoic acid helps the body convert glucose into energy, and is therefore effective in stabilizing moods.
Like berries, apples are high in antioxidants which can help prevent and repair oxidative damage and inflammation at the cellular level. Apples are also enriched by soluble fiber which balances the ups and downs of blood sugar levels.
Although high in caffeine, green tea is also enriched by the amino acid theanine which can protect you from several types of cancer and improve mental performance. Drink twice a day.
If green tea isn’t your favorite, try brewing warm chamomile tea before bed. In addition to its calming effects, chamomile has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of anxiety symptoms. Warm chamomile tea also helps you sleep better.
Chocolate has a variety of healthy antioxidants and has been shown to have an indisputable link with mood swings – especially to deal with depression.
Dark chocolate, in particular, is known for lower blood pressure, adding a calm sensation in you. Dark chocolate is enriched by polyphenols and flavonols – two important types of antioxidants – more than some fruit juices.
There are two reasons why edible mushrooms are good for your mental health. First, the chemical compounds in mushrooms that fight insulin, can help to reduce blood sugar levels and balance your mood.
Second, the edible mushroom is enriched by probiotics that support the ecosystem of good bacteria in the intestine. Because nerve cells in the intestine produce 80-90 percent of the body’s serotonin, it is a wise step to always pay attention to our digestive health.
Fish species such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids which play an important role related to brain function. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that eating more fish will reduce depression.
Also read: FISH OIL FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA
The active ingredient in turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association shows curcumin is effective in reducing symptoms of depression.
Also read: The Pros and Cons of Taking Antidepressants
Symptoms of physical health disorders are often more obvious than mental health disorders. But both are equally related to nutrition in the food we consume every day. Therefore, it is important to ensure that various foods that we eat are beneficial for mental health as well.
Since depression is a serious mental disorder, having a healthy and balanced diet takes many roles to reduce the level and intensity of depression.
I hope the list of foods to fight depression above is useful to you.
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