Although there are many approaches toward battling depression, there is no question that a healthy diet should be part of an overall depression-fighting treatment plan.
The nutrients in food support wellness, growth and the body's ability to repair itself. Deficiency in fat, protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins can cause our bodies to not work at full capacity and can also adversely affect mood.
Fill the Plate with Antioxidants
Free radicals are damaging molecules that contribute to dysfunction. As a matter of fact, medical studies have shown that the brain is especially at risk for free radical damage. While there's no way to stop free radicals completely, food rich in antioxidants can reduce its destructive effect. Foods rich in beta-carotene include broccoli, spinach, carrots, apricots, peaches and sweet potato. Eat foods high in vitamin C including oranges, blueberries, peppers, tomatoes and grapefruit. For antioxidants like vitamin E, wheat germ, nuts and seeds will do the trick.
Smart Carbs for Serotonin
The connection between mood and carbohydrates is directly linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical known as serotonin. Just be sure to opt for complex carbs instead of simple carbs like cookies and cakes. Whole grains, legumes and fruits all contribute to healthy carbs.
Protein-Rich Food to Boost Alertness
Foods rich in protein like chicken and tuna have the amino acid known as tyrosine. This amino acid helps boost levels of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine. These chemicals make it easier to concentrate and help you feel alert. Other good sources of healthy proteins include soy products, beans, low-fat cheeses and lean beef.
Selenium-Rich Foods to Boost Mood
Research has shown an association between poor moods and low selenium intake. For adults, it's recommended to consume 55 micrograms of selenium a day from natural foods. These foods include seafood, low-fat dairy products, beans, whole grains sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Depression
According to scientists, a deficit of omega-3 fatty acids is directly associated with depression. Researchers have found that societies that consume a small amount of these fatty acids have a high incidence of major depressive disorder when compared to societies that consume a fair amount of these fatty acids. Other studies have indicated that those who don't frequently eat fish are more likely to have depression. Great sources for omega-3 fatty acids include nuts, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and dark green leafy vegetables.