Foods That Fight Depression

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  • If you find yourself feeling down, irritable, and moody, you may attribute it to any number of things. In fact, your eating habits have a lot to do with how you think and feel. The food you consume influences the chemical flow in your brain, contributing to your overall mood. The traditional American diet is full of sugar and carbohydrates and contains far too few nutrients that can help regulate the brain’s chemistry. If you’re feeling depressed, a simple change of diet can help. Here are six key anti-depression foods and ingredients:

    Foods Rich In Vitamin B

    Vitamin B has been shown to improve mental and emotional well-being in several different ways. Certain B-complex vitamins decrease depression, lessen aggression, and reduce anxiety. Some foods high in vitamin B are liver, spinach, bell peppers, trout, garlic, salmon, bananas, celery, cabbage, asparagus, turmeric, kale, and brussels sprouts.
  • Protein Protein. Protein has been shown to be an effective aid in helping people overcome depression. Protein contains amino acids that increase the level of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine in the brain, which has the effect of making you feel more energetic and alert. Good sources of protein are fish, kidney beans, peanut butter, pork, chicken, low-fat cheese and sardines.
  • Foods High In Vitamin C Foods high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important to the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. One prominent study found that vitamin C enhanced the mood of patients who were hospitalized. Food containing vitamin C include parsley, collard greens, guava, turnips, broccoli, red chili peppers, mustard greens, kiwi, strawberries and grapefruit.
  • Iron-Rich Foods Depression can sometimes be a symptom of chronic iron deficiency. Not getting enough iron can also lead to feeling weak, tired, and headachy. Iron is crucial for neurological functions and development, and when someone doesn’t get enough iron, their mood can easily be affected. Good sources of iron include liver, eggs, beans, oysters, shrimp, peas, dried fruit, potatoes, and peanuts.
  • Potassium Low levels of potassium are associated with depression, fatigue and weakness. Not getting enough potassium can also lead to increased irritability and anxiety. One study found that a high-potassium diet helped relieve symptoms of depression and tension in study participants, suggesting that increasing your potassium intake could be beneficial in improving your mood. Try eating more rich sources of potassium, such as avocados, paprika, pistachios, raisins, sunflower seeds, dates and halibut.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids Numerous studies have found that depressed people lack a fatty acid known as EPA. One study found that when given fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids, participants saw a sharp decrease in anxiety, sleep disorders, unexplained feelings of sadness, suicidal thoughts, and decreased sex drive. The best way to get your omega-3 fatty acids is through fish, beans, walnuts, flaxseeds, and squash.