Have you experienced how our mood changes when we have good food? Have you seen how you get hungry looking at pictures of food?
This shows that our gut is linked to our brain. Overeating junk food makes us feel sluggish, tired, and frustrated. This is because junk foods are not suitable for our brains.
The hormones in our brains are affected mainly by the food we intake. So if you’re healthy, your mental health is healthy. Many researchers have come up with evidence of some foods that fight depression. These foods fight depression by reducing anxiety, sadness, frustration, and irritation.
But how is food linked with mental health?
Food and Mental Health
Eating healthy keeps you in a good mood.
Eating regularly will regulate your blood sugar and keep your mood better. Staying hydrated can increase your energy level and help you focus better. Consuming low-fat milk, eggs and avocados will help you have better mental health. Consuming fruits and vegetables will help you regulate your mood because they are rich in vitamins and minerals. Having proper amounts of protein helps regulate mood as they contain amino acids.
Taking care of your gut health is essential because it reflects your feelings. Your gut can change when you are stressed or anxious. Probiotics help you in regulating your gut health and keep your mood better.
Also Read: 11 Mental Health Skill Building Activities
Therefore there are various ways in which food can regulate your mental health. Therefore start consuming foods that fight depression.
Here are the 21 best foods to combat depression.
21 Best Foods That Fight Depression
Salmon contains vitamin D and Omega-3, which are vital for curing depression.
Omega-3 helps in brain development. It enhances inflammatory actions that will help reduce depression. Omega-3 helps reduce postpartum depression and psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia, personality disorder, etc.
Research has proven that vitamin D plays a vital role in mental well-being. It is found that people who are suffering from depression are seen to have a low amount of vitamin D in them. Vitamin D regulates hormones like testosterone which can help control the mood of men and women.
Choline is present in eggs which helps in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, and is one of the best foods to fight depression. It stimulates the brain, which regulates mood and reduces stress. Eggs also contain vitamin D, which helps regulate hormones and reduce depression.
There are different recipes with an egg that you can try adding to your meal.
3. Green Leafy Vegetables
It contains a good quantity of folate, which increases the level of serotonin in our brain, making the mood happier and thus reducing some symptoms of depression.
Green leafy vegetables also contain vitamins A and C and antioxidants that positively affect the mood and are one of the best foods to combat depression.
Avocados contain healthy fats that nourish the brain. It also contains potassium and magnesium that help calm the body and mind. Thus avocados are one of the vital foods to fight depression.
They also contain tryptophan which helps in serotonin production in the brain. Avocados help in keeping your mind happy and reduce stress and anxiety. Try consuming half an avocado daily.
Chicken is a good source of protein that helps keep your body healthy by maintaining sugar levels and stabilizing your mood.
It is also a good source of tryptophan which helps increase the productivity of serotonin. Proper serotonin levels help you stay happy, have a healthy sleep schedule, and reduce symptoms of depression.
6. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate also falls among the best foods to fight depression. It contains serotonin, a neurochemical which makes our minds active and happy. Serotonin works as a mood booster and helps regulate depression. Research has found that people consuming dark chocolate have less chance of developing depression. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants which help in reducing inflammation.
It contains flavonoids which improve the cognitive function of the brain.
Dark chocolate contains fatty acid N- acylethanolamines which help reduce negative thoughts and uplift happiness and mood.
Bananas or any kind of food contains serotonin, which balances the mood and proper functioning of the brain. They work as antidepressants and are one of the best foods to fight depression.
Bananas contain Vitamins B7 and B12, which help in producing serotonin. Bananas are also full of and are low in calories. It also contains Vitamin C and potassium.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Including starch in your diet, like potatoes, also helps in producing serotonin, which helps lift mood, calm mood, and reduce depression.
Sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene, which keeps our brains healthy and generates positive thoughts. It also contains magnesium which significantly reduces stress and anxiety. Magnesium may also help with insomnia.
Blueberries are also one of the effective foods to beat depression. It contains the antioxidant flavonoid anthocyanin, which helps reduce inflammation and depression. The antioxidants in blueberries regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure and improve our immune system. Blueberries also contain vitamin C, which reduces stress.
Blueberries stimulate the brain, improve overall mood, regulate emotions, and reduce depression.
Asparagus contains folate, a type of vitamin B. Vitamin B helps properly regulate the brain. Food that contains folate is said to improve mood and brain function.
Folate helps prevent too much homocysteine formation, which causes depression by not letting blood and nutrients reach the brain. Asparagus helps produce serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which helps keep a good mood and sleep cycle.
Mushrooms contain vitamin D, which is essential for regulating a positive mood. People suffering from depression are seen to have fewer portions of vitamin D in their bodies.
Mushrooms contain the amino acid ergothioneine, which works as an anti-inflammatory and reduces stress and symptoms of depression. Mushrooms also contain antioxidants that work as antidepressants. Potassium is also found in mushrooms which may reduce anxiety.
One of the best foods to combat depression is almonds containing zinc and selenium, which helps proper brain function.
This help regulates proper brain function and mood to help with depression.
Beans are plant-based proteins that are a hub of good nutrients that help you feel good. They are rich in vitamin B and help increase serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps regulate good mood.
Vitamin B helps in keeping your nerve cells healthy and reduces depression. Beans contain zinc, magnesium, selenium, etc., making them one of the effective foods that fight depression.
Fermented food has many probiotics that help decrease inflammation and increase brain health. Kimchi is a fermented food that helps increase GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood.
Also, they help in increasing levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Consumption of kimchi can help decrease social anxiety.
Flaxseed is said to have omega -3, fiber, and antioxidants. This helps in reducing inflammation and symptoms of depression. It also regulates the heart and health of a person.
They help prevent diabetes by regulating digestion and blood sugar. Controlling your blood sugar can help you have a good mood and energy. A recent study finds that flax seeds improve mental fatigue, a symptom of depression.
Carrots contain beta-carotene. Beta-carotene turns into vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant in the body, reduces inflammation, and decreases depression.
Consumption of raw carrots can help fight depression more than processed or canned food.
17. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds also fall under foods that fight depression. It contains iron, calcium, and magnesium, aiding digestion and boosting immunity. Chia seeds contain Omega-3 in the form of “alpha-linolenic acid (ALA),” which helps reduce inflammation.
Chia seeds help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent hunger cravings, so one doesn’t start consuming junk during stress. They thus help in reducing inflammation, depression, and anxiety.
Oats help in elevating your mood. They are rich in fiber. Fibers help stabilize sugar levels in your body.
Oats are also a great source of iron. Iron deficiency can cause sluggishness and mood disorders.
Oats also help regulate mood swings and irritation and reduce the symptoms of depression.
Low-fat milk or cheese contains Vitamin D, Calcium, and proteins. They help in fighting depression.
These nutrients help in proper brain development and keep our mood regulated and relaxed. Reduces stress and anxiety. It regulates hormones like serotonin and keeps our mood happy by reducing depression.
20. Green Tea
Green tea contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. They are also rich in an amino acid known as theanine, which helps fight depression.
Theanine helps reduce stress and relaxes the body and mind.
Turmeric contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound that reduces inflammation and helps regulate symptoms of depression.
It can be used in cooked foods, milk, or drinks.
While dealing with mental issues like depression, you must be very cautious about what you eat. These were 21 foods that fight depression that can help you by giving comfort. Consuming high amounts of sugar or alcohol can increase the symptoms of depression and cause severe effects on your mental health.
Keeping track of your health can help you have better mental health, increase your immunity, and keep you healthy. Some junk foods are tempting and will help you get into a good mood, but this feeling is temporary. Eating healthy can help you achieve good mental health in the long term.
Want to know which foods are bad for your mental health? Click here
You can consume junk food occasionally and moderately. Excessive consumption will cause serious health issues.
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