Friday, 7 December 2018

Top 10 Foods to Eat if You Have Depression

If you’re like most people suffering from depression, it is just too easy to reach for all the comfort foods. Sadly, most of these foods only aggravate this serious condition. And, while we know that foods like sweets, harmful fats and caffeinated beverages can aggravate the symptoms of depression, few people know the foods that can help heal depression or reduce the severity of symptoms.
There are many excellent foods to choose if you suffer from depression, but here are my top 10 picks:


Magnesium is critical for the production and proper functioning of mood-regulating serotonin, yet most people are deficient in this essential mineral. There are many excellent sources of magnesium, including many of the foods that follow, but almonds are among the best. Enjoy raw, unsalted almonds on a daily basis to help restore your magnesium levels. 


Whether you enjoy black beans, chickpeas, lentils, navy beans or another type of legumes, you’ll want to add more of these foods to your diet. That’s because beans are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates which are needed in sufficient amounts to manufacture brain hormones known as neurotransmitters. Try to get at least one-half cup of beans daily. You can enjoy them atop a salad, added to soups or wraps, or blended with some herbs and a touch of sea salt for a delicious dip.


Organic green soybeans are an excellent source of many of the B complex vitamins needed for sufficient brain energy, including: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine (vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, respectively).


Essential fatty acids are necessary to treat depression as they are required to create healthy brain cells and are also involved in regulating neurotransmitters—the brain hormones that balance mood. While there are many hormones linked to regulating mood, essential fatty acids are needed for two of the main mood-regulating hormones—serotonin and oxytocin. Both ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are good source of essential fatty acids. Two tablespoons daily of flax oil can be helpful if you’re suffering from depression. You can drizzle flax oil over baked sweet potatoes or vegetables, organic popcorn or blend some into smoothies.


If you’re eating a high protein diet or if your diet lacks whole grains like oats and oatmeal, you may be deficient in the building blocks to make important the important neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain—a natural chemical that helps regulate mood. Enjoy a breakfast of cooked whole oats with a sprinkling of ground flaxseeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon and some stevia instead of the sugar-laden packaged options.


A staple of the ancient Incas who revered it as sacred, quinoa is not a grain like most people think. It’s actually the seed of an herb. As a result, it is a complete protein that is also high in nutrients like magnesium, B-vitamins and fiber. Magnesium is nature’s relaxant that can help people deal with stress-induced depression. B complex vitamins increase the energy available to brain cells to ensure they can function properly. And fiber helps to regulate blood sugar to ensure a constant supply of energy for brain functions, including the manufacture of hormones needed to regulate depression.


Three cups of raw spinach contains over 40 percent of the daily folate (vitamin B9) needed to help restore balanced moods and sufficient brain cell energy. That might sound like a lot but it’s about the size of a medium- to large-sized salad.


Sunflower seeds (the raw, unsalted variety) are among the best food sources of pantothenic acid, an integral nutrient needed to help the body’s stress glands, the adrenal glands, deal with stress. Depression, on its own, is a severe stressor to the body but often other stresses precede episodes of depression, so it’s good to restore the body’s ability to handle stress. One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds contains about 20 percent of the body’s normal pantothenic acid needs. However, people suffering from chronic stress may need more. Enjoy the seeds as a snack or atop salads, creamy soups or stews, or as a delicious addition to stir fries and vegetable dishes.


Few foods contain vitamin D, which is actually a hormone based on its function in the body; however, wild salmon is an excellent source.  A typical 3.5 ounce (100 grams) serving of wild salmon contains 988 IU of vitamin D. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts studied a group of post-menopausal women for a possible correlation between vitamin D and the symptoms of depression. They found that the lower the levels of vitamin D the women had, the more likely they were to experience symptoms of depression.

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