Depression affects 5% of the world’s population. However, with a balanced diet and taking care of your mental health, you can reduce the effects. So, here are some nutritional tips to help you control your depression.
1. Eat foods rich in antioxidants
Our bodies make molecules known as free radicals. These are unstable atoms that bind rapidly to other substances. Free radical cell damage can occur, sometimes in the brain. Depression affects the hippocampus of the brain. Therefore, it is essential to eat foods that fight free radicals, such as antioxidants. You can get antioxidants from vitamins and beta carotene.
Here are some foods to add to your diet:
- Nuts and seeds
2. Include more healthy carbohydrates in your diet
Carbohydrates have been linked to a mood-enhancing chemical, serotonin. Depression causes a lack of serotonin which leads to feelings of sadness. However, you want to find the right carbohydrates. So, include complex carbohydrates like whole grains and beans.
These are rich in fiber and slow down the digestion process. As a result, you will find it completely easy, which prevents overeating, especially when you feel emotional. Fruits and vegetables also contain healthy carbohydrates. Try to limit how often you eat processed foods and common carbohydrates, such as cakes.
3. Include plenty of protein
Protein-rich foods like toner contain tryptophan, which can help make serotonin. High levels can help control your mood and reduce anxiety. So, eating protein-rich foods can increase your energy levels throughout the day. Proteins can also help repair and regenerate cells.
Here are some foods to add to your diet:
- Soy products
4. Try a Mediterranean diet
A Mediterranean diet is more plant-based and emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It also includes less dairy foods and meat than a typical Western diet. This type of food is rich in vitamin B, which can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
Vitamin B can boost your metabolism, energy and mood. Also, lemons, fruits and nuts contain folate. Folate is vital for the formation of red blood cells and stimulates the growth of healthy cells. Peanuts and oatmeal also contain vitamin B12.
5. Make sure you get enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D receptors can be found in your brain. These control the levels of the hormone serotonin, which is good for your body. Thus, taking less vitamin D can increase your symptoms of depression. However, there may be problems with excessive calcium levels. One way to get vitamin D naturally is to go outside and soak in fresh air.
It can put you in a better mood. You can also get vitamin D from foods like mushrooms. Another option is to take a vitamin D supplement. Just consult your doctor to make sure there are no drug interactions.
6. Find foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Eating foods rich in omega-fatty acids can reduce your risk of depression. These chemicals can easily pass through your brain and interact with mood-related molecules. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve depression. They can also help increase brain function and preserve myelin sheath. Also, omega-3 is good for your heart.
Brussels sprouts are a common source of omega-3, but here are a few more:
- Chia seeds
- Dark green, spinach
7. Find foods rich in zinc
Zinc can boost your immune system, which can help with depression. Sometimes depression can lead to sleep loss, slowing down the response of your immune system. Zinc can also aid in metabolism and digestion. It can help those who are eating too much or too little while feeling stressed.
Thus, low levels of zinc may be found in depressed individuals. Taking a supplement can help certain antidepressants work more efficiently. You can add zinc-rich foods to your diet, such as whole grains, oysters and beans.
8. Put probiotics in your diet
Yogurt and coffee can grow healthy bacteria in your gut. Some studies have found a connection between your gut and the brain. The microorganisms in your gut affect your appetite, mood and sleep habits. They help reduce inflammation and can affect cognitive function.
Here are some foods that contain probiotics:
9. Snack on some nuts
These help to supplement omega-3 fats and walnuts are one of the best choices. Walnuts support brain health and lower blood sugar levels. Some studies have linked them to increased levels of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.
Cashews are another excellent source rich in tryptophan. It is a neurochemical that your body converts to serotonin. They contain magnesium and vitamin B6, which are essential for controlling mood swings. Brazil and hazelnuts are other good choices to add to your diet.
10. Eat more beans
Beans are an excellent source of protein, maintaining stable blood sugar levels.
Low levels can sometimes cause mood swings. Beans are also rich in folate, which helps the body make DNA and RNA.
Gorbanjo and Pinto beans are a great choice to add to any meal. Suppose you feel like some face-to-face meal on a difficult day. Then cook some peppers with the beans. You can include beans in salads or tacos.
Food to fight depression
Coping with depression can be exhausting. There are several ways to boost your mood through exercise and diet. So, try these nutritional tips the next time you feel bad.