5 Foods to Help Fight Depression

According to Harvard Health, there’s a direct relationship between diet and depression. In fact, there’s a subspecialty that focuses on nutrition and emotional well-being called nutritional psychiatry. This study focuses on promoting a good diet in helping create a good balance of the mind and body.

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Mind-body medicine specialist Eva Selhub, MD explained the importance of diet in helping fight depression and other mental health issues, “Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.”

In this article, we listed some of the best foods that can help fight off depression:

1. Low-fat milk

According to researchers, a regular intake of low-fat milk and yogurt lowers your risk of developing symptoms of depression. The study noted that the frequency of drinking low-fat milk impacts your likelihood of experiencing depressive episodes.

2. Foods rich in Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acid is an essential nutrient that promotes brain health by promoting the growth of new brain cells. Research shows that consuming foods rich in healthy fatty acids or omega-3 can help manage your symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. Examples of food that you must regularly eat are:

  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Nuts like walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Canola oil
  • Dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach

3. Whole grains

Whole grains are unprocessed grains considered complex carbohydrates, which are good sources of fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. According to the study cited in the Oldways Whole Grains Council, a higher intake of whole grains was related to a lower risk of depression. Meanwhile, eating refined grains and added sugars increased depression symptoms.
Examples of whole grains foods that are good for you are:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Wheat
  • Whole-grain bread, cereals, and pasta

4. Lean protein

Lean meat can lower symptoms of depression because it increases your “happy hormones,” serotonin and dopamine. They are also good sources of vitamin B12, iron, and zinc, which are good for brain health. A study also showed that consuming fish and lean meat reduced the risk and symptoms of depression. Examples of lean meat are:

  • Skinless chicken breasts and cutlets
  • Fish like cod, flounder, tilapia, sole
  • Turkey breast
  • Lean beef
  • Tofu
  • Shrimps
  • Eggs

5. Green tea

Green tea has been known to have many health benefits such as anti-aging and fat-burning properties. It’s no wonder it also has benefits for mental health. Green tea has L-theanine, which has a natural calming or soothing effect. It’s also an excellent substitute for caffeine which can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, a study showed that those who drank more than three cups of tea experienced 21% lower levels of depression.

These are just a few of the foods that help fight depression. To manage your mental health issues, it’s still best to consult your doctor and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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