Struggling with depression? Feeling drained and low on energy? Before popping pills, make some changes to your diet! Believe it or not, good nutrition is your best defense against stress and mood disorders.What you eat has a direct impact on the brain. Certain foods increase serotonin levels in your body, which helps lift your mood and prevent depression. Ideally, your diet should be rich in essential fats, complex carbs, and antioxidants.
Ready to tweak your diet? Here are the five best foods for depression :
There’s a reason why Thanksgiving meals lift our mood instantly. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, raises the feel-good hormones in the brain. It has a direct impact on serotonin levels, helping your body relax. Evidence shows that eating turkey and other tryptophan-rich foods on an empty stomach can naturally restore serotonin levels.
Walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and other nuts are rich in omega-3s. These healthy fats support brain function by improving nerve signaling and fighting inflammation.
In the long run, omega-3s slow cognitive decline and prevent brain damage. A healthy brain is less vulnerable to stress and depression.
How often do you eat cranberries, goji berries, blackberries, or strawberries? These tiny fruits are chock-full of antioxidants that lower stress levels and ward off depression.
In clinical trials, subjects who received antioxidant therapy experienced a major reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms within six weeks. You can naturally increase your antioxidant intake by eating more berries and leafy greens.
Avocado is loaded with good fats that your brain needs to function optimally. Compared to other fruits, it’s lower in sugar and carbs, so it fits into any diet.
Moreover, avocados contain vitamin A, vitamin E, and other antioxidants that reduce damage to the brain and boost memory.
Oats, whole wheat, barley, and other whole grains support brain health in more than one way. These superfoods are high in B vitamins, which improve your mood and ease depression symptoms.
They also contain fiber and slow digesting carbs, providing steady energy. Simple carbs, by comparison, cause blood sugar spikes followed by crashes, which affects your mood and energy levels.
These delicious, healthy foods can enhance your ability to deal with stress and other factors responsible for depression. On top of that, they put you in a good mood and improve brain function. The best part is that there are no side effects to worry about – as it happens when you’re taking antidepressants.