Mood Lifting Foods to help you Beat Depression
Yesterday marked #worldmentalhealthday, the truth is that we simply do not talk about our mental wellbeing or depression enough.
When people ask how we feel, we normally reply with, ‘we’re fine’, and very few people actually stop for long enough to find out whether we are. A smile on the outside though does not have to reflect a smile on the inside. With depression, it can actually be quite the opposite.
Depression affects more people than you might first think. It is important to remember that it is far more than simply feeling a little unhappy or fed up for a few days. These feelings can go on for weeks and months, but still, often people put off going to the doctors to talk about how they feel, for fear of being judged.
It is so important to remember that being depressed does not make you weak in any way; you cannot easily ‘snap yourself out of it’; however, with regular care, and with the right medical intervention, there is no reason that in time you will not start to feel better about yourself, and live a completely normal life.
There are so many different symptoms of depression, both physical and mental, and it is important that if you are concerned about how you are feeling that you make an appointment as soon as possible to see your GP to discuss treatment plans.
There are a lot of things that you can do at home as well, and many things you might not realise about can have an effect on how you are feeling. Including what you are eating. Certain foods can really boost your mental wellbeing, and some have been proven to actually improve symptoms of depression.
Here are just some of what you should be eating…
Dark leafy greens:
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are some of the best foods that you can be eating. They are incredibly healthy, but they are also packed full with immune-boosting properties and anti-cancer effects.
Not only that, but dark, leafy greens have been linked scientifically to reduce inflammation, which is useful when treating depression, as severe depression has been thought to be linked with brain inflammation.
Turkey is an incredibly lean source of protein, and this has been linked to the treatment of depression. Turkey is particularly great though because it has higher levels of the chemical, tryptophan.
Tryptophan stimulates the serotonin production in your body, which is also known as the happy hormone, or a natural feel-good chemical that your body produces. Although this might not work with severe cases of depression, it is a great way of getting on top of mild cases of depression.
Walnuts have some of the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown in a number of different studies to support brain function and to reduce depression symptoms.
It should be noted that although nuts are considered to be healthy, and a great source of good fats, they should be eaten in moderation.
Again, fatty fish like mackerel, bluefish, wild salmon and tuna are all really high in omega-3 fatty acids, which as we know, are great for the brain.
Just like walnuts, many different studies have shown that the above types of fish have great brain-boosting properties which are great at fighting depression but are also great for your overall health. They can improve circulation, and reduce inflammation – another effective way of treating depression – and reduce your overall risk of heart disease.
Avocados are great power foods and contain high levels of healthy fats that ensure your brain runs smoothly.
Over three-quarters of the calories that are found in an avocado come from fat, which is mostly monounsaturated fat, which is known as oleic acid. On average, a whole avocado contains 4 grams of protein, which is higher than other fruits and is packed full of vitamin K, and different forms of vitamin B, C and E12.
They are low in sugar and high in fibre, making them a great all-round food that will ensure that your body and your brain are functioning as well as they can be. It is for this reason that many believe that avocados can be really effective in the treatment of depression.
Mushrooms have chemical properties that oppose insulin, which can help to lower your blood sugar levels, which in turn will help to steady your mood and boost your mental health.
On top of this, they are similar to a probiotic, in that they are useful at promoting healthy gut bacteria, which is the main source responsible for manufacturing serotonin, which as we know is absolutely essential in the treatment of depression.
Try and focus on eating healthy, high fibre carbohydrates, which can be found in whole grains, which are much better for your body.
This is because these types of carbohydrates are really great at helping to improve your mood, quickly. This includes; whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat pasta. All of the above lists will help the body to release serotonin, which is great for helping you to boost your mood.
It would not be a list of natural remedies if turmeric was not on the list, and it is believed that this Indian spice can also help if you are suffering from depression.
This is mainly due to its anti-inflammatory ability, which as we know is really useful for people who are suffering from severe depression.
On top of this, turmeric also contains the active compounds, turmerones and curcuminoids, which are generally associated with a wide range of health benefits. If you are generally feeling healthy in yourself, your mood is more likely to become lifted.