Which Foods Combat Depression?
By: Costa Provis
Depression is something that 1 in 10 Americans live with, according to the published research. When those moments of darkness strike (which always seems to be at the least opportune moment), there are a few key choices that you can make to handle the situation. Some people choose to try to focus on everything in life that truly makes them happy as a way to latch onto those positive feelings. Others look to prescription drugs as a way to let medical science help them overcome their issues.
While the current research strongly suggests certain kinds of eat worsen your mood, few studies exist that help us to understand what foods can fight back against depression. We’ve done a bit of our own research here at 2SC and scoured the scientific literature in our own quest for knowledge.
What follows are our findings. In each case, we’ve provided a link to the research to help provide greater insight. Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!
1. Green Tea
We have known for many years that green tea is good for body. It helps to improve a number of physiological functions, including metabolism and digestion. What was not known until recently was simply this – green tea can also help prevent depression. According to research appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking green tea on a regular basis reduced symptoms of depression in an elderly population. As a side benefit, green tea is also known to help reduce stress levels because of naturally occurring amino acids in the tea leaves.
2. Fruits of All Types
Fruits bring with them a wide variety of different benefits that can’t be ignored. If you’re trying to lose weight, fruits are a great way to eat healthy and promote both your body’s natural processes and take in phytonutrients at the same time. According to a study appearing in the British Journal of Psychiatry, fruits are also a great way to naturally get a massive boost of energy to your body thanks to both the protein and the sugar that is contained inside them. Whenever you’re feeling down, one of the best things to do is have a nice bowl of fruit. Fruit smoothies and other forms of fruits can also help in much the same way.
3. Seeds and Nuts
If you’re looking for an effective way to combat depression, you may want to give seeds and nuts a try (providing that you aren’t one of the unlucky individuals to suffer from a nut allergy, of course). Walnuts, flax seeds and other types are all filled with omega-3 fatty acids. Research published by Harvard University highlights the importance of these hugely important nutrients that have also been linked to special, depression fighting benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been proven to help reduce inflammation, as well.
Anyone who has ever had a big Thanksgiving dinner has felt the depression combating effects of turkey whether they know it or not. It’s incredibly common to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, eat to your heart’s content and come away feeling fantastic – even if you do feel overwhelmingly stuffed at the same time. This happens for a few different reasons, like the fact that turkey is such a lean source of protein. Turkey is also a food with one of the highest levels of a chemical called tryptophan, which has long been linked directly to the serotonin production in your body. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical, which when utilized judiciously will help combat depression in a pretty important way.
As previously stated, one of the great ways to combat depression is to increase your body’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Along with seeds and walnuts, there are few food sources better to accomplish just that than fish that have been caught in the wild. Salmon, tuna, mackerel – it doesn’t matter. All of these types of fish contain huge amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which will go a long way towards making you feel better according to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Not only that, but fish like these have other health benefits as well. They go a long way towards improving circulation all over your body and can even dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease over time.
If you are looking for more information about how different kinds of food impact your emotional health, we encourage you to pick up a copy of The Food Mood Solution. Inside, you will find lots of practical insight on what foods to eat to help boost your spirits as well as certain types of eats to avoid.