You can have the world at your feet, but if you have depression – the world can seem like a dark place. It's a struggle to get through even the simplest tasks, when you don't have the right foods in your diet. There are certain foods that your brain needs on a daily basis, to stay fit and healthy. Check it out.
Fish is one of the best foods to eat if you want to keep your brain healthy and sharp. It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that help to keep depression at bay.
In addition, fish is rich in protein, which helps to build neurotransmitters in the brain. These are the chemicals that send signals from one neuron to another and allow us to think, feel and act.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health because they affect everything from mood to memory and learning. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is one of the main omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and shellfish. It also helps protect against heart disease, diabetes and age-related cognitive decline. The best part? You don’t need much – just two servings a week will do it!
We all know that eggs are a great source of protein, but they're also an important part of a healthy diet for people who are dealing with depression and anxiety.
Eggs are rich in choline, which helps your liver produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, memory and sleep. Serotonin plays an important role in regulating emotions and behaviors related to anxiety and depression.
Choline also improves memory function by promoting the growth of new brain cells. This can help with short-term memory loss associated with anxiety disorders and depression.
In addition to choline, eggs contain other nutrients that support mental health, such as vitamin B12 which helps keep homocysteine levels low and omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation.
Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known to improve brain health by helping with depression and anxiety, as well as memory and concentration.
Mushrooms are also full of B vitamins, which help you maintain a healthy nervous system. This makes them a great food for people with depression because they can help protect against the negative effects of stress on your body and mind.
Mushrooms are high in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that can help relieve anxiety and help you sleep better. They're also low in calories, so eating them will not only make your brain feel better but also keep your waistline trim!
4. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale
Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in folate, a nutrient that is essential for brain health. Folate helps synthesize S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), an organic compound that is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which play a key role in regulating mood and behavior.
In addition to folate, dark leafy greens are also rich in magnesium and iron, two minerals that play an important role in energy metabolism by helping your body convert food into fuel. Magnesium also plays a role in nerve conduction and muscle contraction, while iron is needed to produce new red blood cells.
While it's important to note that research on the relationship between nutrition and mental health is still ongoing, many people with depression report feeling better after adding dark leafy greens to their diets.
5. Beans and lentils (including chickpeas)
Beans and lentils are rich in thiamine, which helps the body produce energy from carbohydrates. And if you're someone who struggles with depression, you may have noticed that brain fog is a common symptom—you can't think straight or focus on tasks. Eating foods high in thiamine can help reduce the symptoms of brain fog so that you can be more productive throughout the day.
Plus, beans and lentils are low in fat and loaded with fiber—both of which can help balance your moods. By eating plenty of fiber-rich foods like beans and lentils, you'll feel more full longer, which will help keep those pesky cravings under control.
In addition to being good for your physical health, beans and lentils are also great for your mental health. The reason is because they contain tryptophan which helps produce serotonin and magnesium which helps balance out mood swings.
6. Nuts, seeds and avocados (especially walnuts)
Nuts, almonds and avocados are great sources of nutrients like magnesium, potassium and vitamin E that can help reduce stress and anxiety. They also contain healthy fats that have been shown to improve cognitive function in people with depression.
The best way to get all these benefits is by eating a handful of nuts three times per week. If you don't like eating them by themselves, try sprinkling them on top of salads or adding them into smoothies for an extra boost!
7. Olive oil
Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which are known to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body. It can also reduce inflammation and boost brain health, while helping control blood sugar levels.
Olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal that has anti-inflammatory properties. This in turn helps prevent depression by reducing inflammation in the brain.
In fact, olive oil also contains vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your brain from oxidative stress, which is one of the key factors that cause depression.
Olive oil contains polyphenols (monomers of polyphenols) that stimulate the secretion of serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter plays an important role in regulating mood and maintaining happiness levels.
Oats are a staple in many diets. They're low in fat and calories, and they're packed with fiber. For people with depression, eating oats can also be beneficial.
Oats contain a type of carbohydrate called beta-glucan, which is known to help lower cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that high cholesterol levels can contribute to depression, so lowering them can help improve mental health.
Oats also contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that's important for the production of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that helps regulate moods by making us feel happy and relaxed. Serotonin production can be disrupted by stress or a lack of sleep. Eating foods rich in tryptophan like oatmeal can help bring your levels back up so that you feel happier, more relaxed and energized throughout the day!
Berries contain antioxidants that help to keep your brain healthy and functioning. They also contain flavonoids, which can help to prevent or manage the symptoms of depression. Antioxidants and flavonoids work together to eliminate free radicals that cause cell damage and inflammation in the brain. This helps to protect your brain from damage caused by stress and anxiety, which often contributes to depression.
The high level of fiber in berries helps you feel full after eating them, so you won't be tempted to overeat later on in the day. They also contain melatonin, which helps you sleep better at night so that you wake up feeling more refreshed each morning.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, which has been shown to be helpful in managing symptoms of depression. In fact, just one tomato per day can provide you with the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C! That's pretty impressive and makes this fruit an excellent choice for anyone looking to boost their mood by adding more vitamins and minerals into their diet.
Tomatoes are also full of antioxidants—the same ones that fight free radicals in your body—which can help reduce inflammation in your brain. The antioxidant lycopene helps fight free radicals in your body so they don't damage cells and tissues as much as they would otherwise do so; this helps reduce inflammation which is linked to depression symptoms like fatigue or lack of motivation.
So next time you're looking for something healthy to eat for lunch or dinner try adding some tomatoes on top! They are super easy to add into any dish so there will always be an opportunity for them!
Though many symptoms indicate that you need to see a doctor, if food is not enough, there are some things you can do on your own. Taking care of your body and brain through the foods you eat and activities you choose will have a positive impact on your mood and help keep you out of the doctor's office for as long as possible.
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