We often speak about ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ illness as if they’re two distinctly different aspects. But as you dive into the facts, that distinction becomes extremely blurry.
The truth is that what goes on in your body will have a major effect on what happens in your mind. You have a large say in whether that effect is good or bad. Every day, you make the call – by choosing what to eat!
Healthy Food Style recommended these nine great foods and drinks that all depression sufferers should get more of:
1. Green Tea
Green tea has been used to battle depression for thousands of years. According to research, polyphenols in green tea boosts the brain’s supply of dopamine, a ‘happy’ neurotransmitter. Those handy polyphenols also increase insulin sensitivity. This maintains a steady supply of glucose, which fuels the brain.
A 100 gram bunch of almonds contains 268 mg of magnesium. Magnesium works wonders for treating depression and it’s cousin, the migraine.
Way back in 1968, a study found that replenishing magnesium levels (which are typically low in Americans) reverses depression, migraines and irritability.
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon does the heavy depression-lifting. Those omega-3s soften cell membranes and make it easier for serotonin, another happy neurotransmitter, to make its way through the brain. Make sure you stay away from farmed salmon. Buy organic instead. A whole fish will give you upwards of 1 gram of omega-3.
Avocados contain lots of potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. This is great because a high potassium diet is known to relieve symptoms of depression and stress.
That Kit-Kat bar is not really what we’re talking about here. If you want depression-fighting benefits, you need dark chocolate.
Researchers have found that the cocoa in dark chocolate enhances your brain’s levels of serotonin and dopamine. It also reduces your level of cortisol – the ‘stress’ neurotransmitter.
Bananas contain tryptophan, a nutrient required to create positive neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin. Bananas also contain magnesium and potassium.
When the blues get you down, the last thing you want to see is more blue. But trust me, this type of blue will be totally worth it. Blueberries have antioxidant properties. This means they reduce oxidative stress, a prime feature of depression. Blueberries also help your brain grow new cells, which in itself is believed to treat depression.
Of all the dark leafy greens, spinach contains the most folic acid. That’s great because folic acid deficiency tends to be common among those with depression. Folic acid also boosts your brain’s level of those friendly chemicals, serotonin and dopamine. It’s often used to boost antidepressant effectiveness. Spinach is also high in magnesium.
Another food high in folic acid is asparagus. This vegetable is also rich in B vitamins, which boost mental health by helping your body’s tryptophan conversion. Remember, tryptophan is the compound your body converts into serotonin.