Mood-Boosting Foods That May Help Ease Depression
Certain types of foods may have mood-boosting effects, according to Kelly Anne Spratt, D.O., Director of Women's Cardiovascular Health at the University of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Medical Center, who answered reader questions for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
"There are controversial studies about which, if any, foods to eat when depressed," Spratt says on the Better Homes and Gardens website.
Carbohydrates are thought to elevate levels of serotonin and tryptophan in the brain, which may explain why some people crave them, she tells a reader who asked about methods of relieving depression.
"Some people suffering from depression, premenstrual syndrome, and seasonal affective disorder find that they crave carbohydrate-rich food such as pastas, pastry, potatoes, or candy," Spratt says.
But that doesn't mean every person who suffers from depression should stock up on candy bars.
"Other studies show that depression often improves when sugar and caffeine are removed from the diet," she continues. "Some people are so sensitive to sugar that these sweet servings can put them on an emotional roller coaster."
Consuming protein-rich foods that regulate blood sugar levels is also key.