Nutrition affects every aspect of your physical and mental well-being and can trigger and contribute to mental health disorders. This is especially true of depression. Not only does your diet influence your symptoms, it can also influence the onset, severity and duration of depression.
But it’s not all bad news. Just as nutrition can negatively affect depression, it can improve it as well. Check out these depression-fighting foods.
Packed with B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium and magnesium, whole grains contain much of what scientists believe can combat the symptoms of depression. Whole grains include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, cornmeal and brown rice.
Vitamin D has been proven to improve the symptoms of depression. And oily fish — trout, salmon, tuna, sardines and herring — have it in spades. If you can’t get enough vitamin D from your diet, you can also take supplements.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are a great source of selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, folate and zinc. It’s very easy to overeat nuts and seeds, however, which is why Harvard Health Publishing recommends adding them to dishes rather than eating them by the handful.
Eggs, milk and other dairy products contain vitamins D and B12, both of which are great at fighting depression. What’s more, many dairy products are fortified with other vital nutrients.
Dark Leafy Vegetables
Depression can lower folate levels. Dark, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, collard greens and even dandelion greens, contain this vital nutrient.
Certain citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes, contain lots of folate as well. Papaya, banana and avocado also have it.
Speaking of folate, beans contain loads of it. Black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, refried beans, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are all great options.
Liver, gizzard, trotters, tripe, tongue, kidney and other organ meats have concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals, such as selenium.
Red meat contains 14 essential nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium and potassium. Many of these are very helpful in the fight against depression.
Chicken and turkey contain folate, B vitamins and protein. They’re also lean, which makes them great choices.
Chowing down on foods rich with vitamin D, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, protein and smart carbs can lessen the severity of, and may even alleviate, depression symptoms. Also, you should take care to avoid foods that may make your symptoms worse, such as sugar, fast food, junk food and refined carbs.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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