Depression is a tough subject for alot of people. I personally have dealt with it, and many people close to my heart have battled through it as well. I am by no means saying food and herbs are a way to “cure” depression or anxiety, medication is still the best choice for some individuals. However, I do believe that your lifestyle and food choices can make a difference in how you feel and act as a whole. Below is a list of 5 foods that are found to decrease the symptoms of depression and hopefully give people a better chance at battling the disease.
One type of food that is among the best natural depression treatments is fish. The Omega 3 fatty acids found in certain fish including sardines, salmon, herring, trout and canned white tuna, are said to help restore mental balance. Even though some people may opt to take fish oil supplements, eating fish a few times a week may be the best way to provide your body with enough of these healthy oils. Expecting mothers who include fish in their diets, are increasingly less likely to develop post-pardon depression. Other seafood high in omega-3s include mussels and oysters.
If you don’t eat fish, go for a healthy dose of nuts or seeds. Not only do they have Omega 3 but also provide a dose of vitamin D and magnesium. Vitamin D is often associated with positive moods and reducing the chances of mild depression. Magnesium is a mineral found in certain nuts and seeds, including almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Magnesium can boost your mood by increasing energy production and also stimulating the production of serotonin— one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals.
In addition to helping battle depression, Turmeric, the yellow spice used for curry dishes and mustards, is said to prevent joint pain, enhance weight loss, and a potent natural anti-inflammatory. Curcumin, an active compound from turmeric, was found to possibly do better than the drugs often prescribed for depression or anxiety. A study published in Phytotherapy Research states that a 1000 mg daily dose of curcumin was just 2-5% less effective than the pharmaceutical drug, and, most importantly, showed no unexpected side effects.
Olive oil and the Mediterranean diet is widely known to offer a number of health benefits. A diet high in olive oil, and other monounsaturated fats, helps reduce the occurrence of mental illnesses. Researchers from the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria have demonstrated that the ingestion of trans-fats and saturated fats increase the risk of suffering depression, and that olive oil, on the other hand, protects against this mental illness, Science Daily. But even healthier fats like olive oil are high in calories, so use them only in moderation. Try replacing butter and other less healthy fats with olive oil.
Brown rice is rich in healthy low-fat carbohydrates, and contains vitamins B1 and B3, and folic acid. Brown rice is also a low-glycemic food, which means it releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventing sugar lows and mood swings. Supposedly the “smart” carbohydrates in brown rice are found to stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain. As the serotonin levels rise, many people start experiencing an improvement in their depression symptoms. Along with it’s anti-depressant properties, brown rice helps maintain healthy bones and stronger immune system.