Whenever you feel depressed for quite a long time then majority of your friends recommend visiting psychiatrist and taking the required pills to overcome depression. But, none of those pills were scientifically proven to relieve symptoms of depression. How would you feel if I say that simple dietary changes can elevate your symptoms of depression? You would definitely love to make those changes right! Here is a list of top 10 foods to have when you are depressed and make yourself feel better.
- Omega-3-fattyacid foods: Regular intake of fish oils rich in omega-3-fattyacids helps to fight the symptoms of depression such as anxiety, sleep disorders, suicidal thoughts and sadness. Fish oils are also rich in unsaturated fattyacids that help in lowering the blood cholesterol levels. Apart from fish oils Omega-3- fattyacids can also be obtained from walnuts and flaxseeds. Include fatty fish such as tuna, sardines, salmon and mackerel at least twice a week in your diet to meet the body needs of omega-3-fattyacids.
- Whole grains: soluble fiber present in whole grains helps to regulate the cholesterol and sugar levels. They prevent sudden rise and fall of the sugar levels, the major cause for mood swings. Thus, whole grains such as oats, spelt, quinoa and kamut that are rich in Vitamins B6, pantothenic acid and help to regulate the blood sugar and cholesterol levels are the preferred foods to elevate symptoms of depression.
- Brown rice: Deficiency of vitamin-B often results in poor physical and mental health. Brown rice serves as a rich source for vitamins B1, B3, folic acid and essential minerals required for good health. In addition to providing the required nutrients it also results in slow release of glucose, avoiding abrupt changes in blood sugar levels and hence, mood changes. It is also rich in soluble fiber that prevents digestive disorders and lowers the cholesterol levels. Egg yolk is another rich source for vitamin B and it also helps in balancing the blood sugar levels.
- Brewer’s yeast: Yeast is a good source of vitamins B1, B2 and B3. It also rich in essential minerals and amino acids essential to have a healthy nervous system. So, include yeast in your daily diet and you can easily fight the symptoms of depression. But, stay away from yeast if you are allergic to it.
- Vegetables and fruits: Cabbage that is rich in folic acid and vitamin C helps to fight infections, stress and certain forms of cancer. You can use it in salads or make delicious dishes with it. But, few people avoid having cabbage with the fear of gas. You can overcome this problem by adding fennel or cumin seeds just before cooking of cabbage. The fiber content of cabbage helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels and its juice is used in the treatment of stomach ulcers. Cottage cheese, blue berries and cantaloupes that are also rich sources of vitamin C help to combat stress efficiently. Blue berries that are low in calories and rich in fiber help in relieving symptoms of depression such as cramps and constipation. Increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables also provides required amounts of magnesium that relieves the symptoms of depression.
- Milk: Free radicals that are released into the body due to metabolic process result in depression if they are not eliminated from the body. These free radicals are destroyed by antioxidants. Hence, to combat depression have foods such as milk to obtain required dosage of antioxidants and also vitamin B2 and vitamin B12.
- Nuts: Nuts such as almonds are rich in depression fighting nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Vitamin E serves as an antioxidant and eliminates the free radicals responsible for stress and depression. However, limit the amount of consumption of almonds as they are also rich in fats and can make you obese if consumed in large amounts regularly.
- Eat sufficient amounts of carbohydrates: having insufficient amounts of carbohydrates prevents the brain from obtaining the required energy which leads to depression. To combat depression it is essential to choose smart carbs such as those present in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and legumes.
- Anti-oxidant rich foods: Accumulation of free radicals in the body is one cause for depression. Antioxidants are powerful removers of these free radicals. Hence, consume foods that are rich in antioxidants. Beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E serve as good antioxidants. Foods that are rich in these nutrients include carrots, broccoli, peaches, spinach, pumpkin, oranges, grapefruits, peppers, potato, strawberries, nuts and seeds, margarine and wheat germ. However, limit the consumption of potato as it is rich in carbohydrates and can make you stout in no time.
- Protein rich foods: proteins that are made of amino acids are the building blocks of body. Essential amino acids such as tyrosine play role in synthesis of brain chemicals namely dopamine and norepinephrine. Intake of protein rich foods is essential to meet the body needs of these chemicals. Inclusion of protein rich foods such as lean beef, fish, poultry, soy products and yogurt in regular diet helps to meet the protein and amino acid requirements of the body essential to combat depression.
If you do not have time to have these foods specifically, prefer having fortified cereals containing all the essential vitamins and minerals to combat depression. A simple secret to prevent sudden changes in blood sugar levels is to have smaller meals spread throughout the day. By having smaller meals you are exerting lesser load on the digestive system helping it to function appropriately. Limited intake of food helps in easy maintenance of balanced blood sugar levels. Make sure that you only take nutritious diet. Avoid junk foods, processed instant foods and those that are rich in salt, sugar and fats until the symptoms of depression improve.
To overcome depression it also essential to stay away from depression causing foods such as caffeine, high fat and sugar foods, quit smoking and stop taking drugs such as antibiotics, beta blockers and pain killers. However, consult your physician before discontinuing any of the medications. One last secret to combat depression is to lead active lifestyle by practicing regular exercise, staying happy and getting enough of sunshine.