A healthy diet is essential to help fight depression in my eyes. There are many natural foods that help fight depression. Think about it everyone! By eating junk, you are putting your body and mind in an unhealthy state. Throughout this article, I will be discussing the best foods for depression.
Have you ever ate a ton of junk food one night and noticed that not only your body felt terrible, but so did your mind? I have. With depression and anxiety already coming at me in wave-lengths, I started to notice that eating unhealthy did not help my case at all.
Unhealthy eating leads to an unhealthy body which in turn leads to an unhealthy mind. You are not consuming the proper vitamins, antioxidants, proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, probiotics … and the list goes on when you eat UNHEALTHY!
According to the Harvard Medical School, proper nutritious foods have a very important impact on your mental health. These nutrients are essential for providing mind growth, mood-enhancement, and brain health. Implement a healthy diet into your daily routine and you will feel better mentally and physically! Don’t believe me? You are just going to have to try it.
If you are depressed or have been diagnosed clinically depressed, then you may feel like eating junk food is your safe haven. You can always rely on this to make you feel comfort. In reality, you are doing more long-term damage to your mind and body by eating unhealthy and going on junk-food spurts.
What I did:
I have had a long journey with both depression and anxiety. It did take me a while until I took the appropriate measures to fix my mind-state, but when I did, I felt much better. The three most aspects I changed about my life were:
Now I implement these life-style changes into my daily routine and I am on the path to greater happiness. Each day I feel better knowing that my mind and body are receiving the proper nutrients and exercise they need to succeed and be happy.
I now truly believe I am on the path to ultimately defeating my mental illnesses and it all started with simple life-style changes. With eating healthy, incorporating exercise as well as natural supplements, I noticed a huge improvement towards my physical and mental health.
I am now constantly motivated to do something such as helping all of you here. I live to help people and I love aiding those with mental health struggles as I was at rock-bottom once. Anyways, I now feel motivated, dedicated and possess a strong work-ethic.
I am also more sociable, out-going, and love going on adventures such as vacations or trips. I love to exercise and implement a healthy appetite and sleep routine into my life-cycle. Before I implemented these life-style changes, all of these things were extremely difficult.
I had no motivation. I never wanted to exercise and didn’t care to eat healthy. Sometimes I wouldn’t even eat because I had no appetite. Sleep was a hit and miss. Sometimes I wouldn’t fall asleep. Other times I couldn’t wake up and didn’t want to anyways. I isolated myself from family and friends because my mental illness was telling me this was the best. However, it felt terrible. It was a rough road but I am more than happy I changed my life-style and now feel that much better.
I encourage you to do the same! I promise you will notice an improvement. If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to connect, don’t hesitate to comment below.
Foods That Help Depression
- These fatty acids are essential for mental health. I have stressed to implement omega-3 fatty acids into your diet numerous times because it is that important! Many citizens have turned to omega-3s for their physical and mental health. Approximately, Americans spend $2.6 billion yearly on this product. You can also obtain your Omega-3s by consuming fatty fishes such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
- There are numerous health benefits associated with it such as:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduces risk of heart failure
- Increases mind-function and brain health
- Elevates mood and productivity
- Replenishes essential brain cells
- Omega-3s are considered what is called an anti-inflammatory meaning they are essential for your brain health as they decrease inflammation in this area. With brain inflammation, there is a greater chance that mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety will result. If you are already diagnosed with depression or any other mental illness such as anxiety, Omega-3 effectively helps to improve your mental state. Inflammation will be reduced nonetheless leading to an elevated mood and increased brain function.
- Unfortunately, it is difficult to obtain the plentiful amount of omega-3s you need as they are found in difficult food groups to get such as fatty fishes I mentioned (salmon, sardines, and mackerel). Personally, I consume my omega-3s through natural supplement form which I find very efficient and healthy. But if you would like to spend your time buying these food products with the essential omega-3s, then go for it! You will feel better mentally and physically.
- Consume your vitamins! If I could stress one thing for the rest of my life, it would be the importance of vitamins which can be obtained through many different food groups as well as through supplement form.
- Vitamin B is essential for mental health. They work by making energy from the food you consume, thereby forming red blood cells. The foods that are rich with vitamin B are meat, leafy greens (kale, swiss chard, spinach), dairy, peas, and whole grains. Yet with these food groups, there are still abundance of people with vitamin B deficiency. Vitamin deficiency can result for numerous people with different conditions such as those who are vegetarian or vegan, people who implement fasting, have stomach disorders, pregnant or breastfeeding women, over the age of 50, and take prescription antacids.
- I believe I consume my B vitamins through the food I eat, but just in case I take supplements to ensure I am receiving the plentiful amount I need for a healthy body and mind.
- Vitamin C is of course another essential vitamin for our mental and physical health. Mental disorders often steal from us. They take away our sleep, appetite, social lives, energy, and happy moods. They come in wave-lengths stealing these vital aspects of our lives day by day. Through vitamin C efficiency, we can feel better.
- Vitamin C promotes a healthy body and mind. Vitamin C deficiency can actually lead to some physical diseases such as scurvy, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease. With physical disorders coming into play, your mental health will be affected too. This is why vitamin C is essential for our physical and mental health as they promote an overall positive effect on our bodies and brains.
- Foods that are rich in vitamin C are red peppers, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, green peppers, and guava. There are of course others but these are the food groups you will obtain the most vitamin C.
- Vitamin D is great for mental and physical health conditions. You are probably noticing a pattern here. Take your vitamins over and over again! Vitamin D receptors have been found in areas of the brain that help regulate and promote serotonin levels. A theory that is presented is that vitamin D affects the amount of monoamines (a chemical like serotonin) in the brain. Therefore, with vitamin D deficiency, there is higher risk of decreased monoamine levels, thereby resulting in depression symptoms.
- Foods that are plentiful in vitamin D are beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, dairy products (soy milk and cereals), as well as fatty fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel).
- By consuming your vitamin D, you will notice an improvement towards your mental health. Our bodies are complex machines that are pre-programmed to take-up natural supplements/remedies/food as they work together to promote healthiness.
- Essential minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron support a healthy immune system while also elevating neurological functions within the mind. Nutrients have a powerful impact on mind function. I truly wish more people understood this. In essence, our nervous system actually requires these nutrients to function properly and efficiently.
- This video is one I find very powerful. Julia J Rucklidge, Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, discusses the importance of nutrition for our mental health. Please give it a view as you may have a new found perspective on the imperative need for proper nutrients.
- Foods that are high in mineral nutrients include lean meats, whole grains, leafy greens, oysters, pumpkin seeds, and nuts. For an abundance of iron up-take, I would suggest to stock up on unprocessed meats, clams, nuts, beans, chicken liver, tofu, dark chocolate, and sunflower seeds. To stock up on magnesium, I would recommend an abundance of nuts, whole grains, leafy greens, and legumes.
- These are essentially molecules that prevent oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can develop into chain reactions that may further damage cells. Thus consuming your antioxidants allows your cells to be balanced in a healthy state. There is scientific evidence that suggests oxidation reactions that lead to high free radical levels may play an important role in the development of numerous mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Antioxidant sources whether made from the body or by consuming food reduce the effects of free radicals, also known as oxidative cell damage, which can play a critical role in the prevention of mental disorders as well as physical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and dementia.
- Some antioxidants are made from the body itself while others we receive from consuming specific food groups. Foods that are abundant in antioxidants include:
- Wild blueberries
- Kidney beans
- Golji berries
- Dark Chocolate
- There is a vast abundance of antioxidants you can receive to efficiently add to your diet that include a plentiful amount of fruits and vegetables. Of course, the higher consumption of fruits and vegetables consumed have led to a lower risk of mental disorders.
- Again, you can consume your antioxidants through food sources or supplement form. In my opinion, there are many fruit and plant-based foods that are easily attainable for you to add to your diet. You will feel better consuming these foods.
- These are beneficial bacteria that are found throughout the digestive tract. They are crucial for proper digestion and strong immune function as well as for your mental health. More specifically, probiotics naturally produce digestive enzymes which allow for food to be properly broken down when consumed. Probiotics produce the appropriate enzymes to completely break down each food polymer to its building block, thus being essential for digestion health.
- Microbiotics/probiotics are classified as anti-inflammatory microbes that affect not only the gut in a positive way, but also the brain. They aid in decreasing stress signaling in the body and further increase the transformation of tryptophan into serotonin (happy chemical found in the brain). Scientific research has shown that probiotics can help elevate mood by increasing these serotonin levels. Other studies have shown a decrease in anxiety symptoms. It does make sense for probiotics to help both physical and mental health. With probiotic deficiency, you are accumulating inflammation in the body and brain which can lead to mental and physical disorders.
- There are several foods known to have an abundance of probiotics. They include miso soup, milk, kefir, soy milk, dark chocolate, yogurt, and sauerkraut. Consume your probiotics and you will notice an improvement towards both your mental and physical health.
- This substance in considered a herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family and has proven to do wonders to both the body and mind. The spice has been used for its medicinal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties for thousands of years. Overall, it is a very effective nutritional supplement that can aid in you in your mental and physical health battles.
- Turmeric contains bioactive compounds that contain strong medicinal properties, which are attained through compounds called curcuminoids, the most essential which is curcumin. Studies have shown that turmeric increases anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body and brain. Most important for mental health, turmeric has proven to boost brain function and elevate mood by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factors. Other doctor testimonies have shown that the main ingredient in turmeric (curcumin) has effective benefits against depression.
- Other benefits of turmeric include preventing or treating cancer, reducing the risk of heart disease, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s as well as arthritis, and may help delay aging.
- There are many elegant turmeric abundant foods that seem actually quite delicious. Personally I consume turmeric mainly through supplement form as well as curry. However, foods that are high in turmeric include Southwestern tofu scramble, fragrant yellow rice, creamy curried cauliflower soup, cauliflower steaks with ginger, cumin, and turmeric, cabbage in mild yogurt and mustard seed curry, as well as tea which can be made by simmering turmeric with honey and milk to make a nice beverage.
- For more elaborated benefits of turmeric, I encourage you to visit Turmeric Heals as it is all about the excellence of turmeric towards physical and mental health.
I have just covered the main food groups I believe are the most essential when battling depression and other mental disorders. By consuming your Omega-3s, Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants, Microbiotics, and Turmeric, you will notice a drastic improvement towards your physical and mental health.
I encourage you to consume these food groups.
Specific Foods That Combat Depression:
I have listed many foods above with their proper nutritional compounds that aid in battling depression. Here is a list of my favorite foods that contain the essential nutritional compounds you need to live a healthy mental and physical life.
- Swiss Chard
- Blue Potatoes
- Greek Yogurt
- Red Peppers
- Green Tea
- Blueberry Juice
- Dark Chocolate
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Grass-Fed Beef
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Whole Grains
- Dark Leafy Green
I hope this information helps you during your battle with depression as it has helped me with mine. The best thing I have done to combat my mental health issues was to implement a proper diet with these said food groups. I also exercise and consume my supplements as together, they will do wonders to the body and brain. I encourage you to do the same.
If you have any other food groups or specific foods to add to the list, or even have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to comment below.