Foods to Help Depression

Images of healthy food

Have you ever felt depressed? I bet you have. There are many degrees and different kinds of depression. We all need help sometimes, whether it’s talking it out, seeing a professional, needing to take medication, or maybe just eating our way out of it. Wow! Most of us are trying to lose weight and I just mention eating our way out of depression. Ok, I’ll say, eat in moderation. If you need to see a physician, please do.

Have you ever wondered why God put certain foods on this earth? Maybe the food is not just to eat for pleasure, but also meant to be used as medicine.

Turkey may be the Thanksgiving bird, but it has the protein building-block tryptophan that your body uses to make serotonin. This brain chemical plays a key role in depression, according to researchers. Some antidepressant drugs work by targeting the way your brain uses serotonin, but you can get the same mood-boosting effect from chicken and soybeans.

The snack that can help protect your body from tiny, damaging particles called free radicals is Brazil nuts that are rich in selenium. It was found through a study that young people who didn’t have enough of this nutrient in their diets were more likely to be depressed, even though the researchers couldn’t say that low selenium caused depression. One half of your daily requirement of the mineral is provided by just one Brazil nut, so don’t overdo and eat more of these nuts than you should.

Carrots are full of beta-carotene as well as pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe. This nutrient has been linked through studies to lower levels of depression. Evidence doesn’t yet say it can prevent the disorder as there is not enough evidence, but it can’t hurt to get more in your diet.

It has been proven that bottom feeding fish contains toxic levels of mercury and other harmful substances to the human body. So it is my belief that we should not eat or limit our consumption of these fish. However, I need to report what are the other findings also. Clams and Mussels are seafood favorites and are a good source of B-12 and a vitamin that people with low levels of this are more likely to have depression, according to studies. A lack of this vitamin causes a shortage of a substance called s-adenosylmethionine that your brain needs to process other chemicals that affect your mood. Try organic lean beef, milk and eggs for other B-12 foods.

That good old jolt of caffeine in coffee can certainly be the “pick-me-up” that we all seem to need in the morning to feel more motivated. Be careful though. Please try to
only have 1 to 2 cups a day. Any more than that can become dangerous to your health. If you happen to be someone that has postpartum depression or panic disorder, some
studies indicate it might make your symptoms worse. On the other hand, other researchers say that that cup of java can lower your risk of getting depression, even though they aren’t really sure why.

Grab those leafy greens as they are packed with folate, which your brain cells need to work well and may help protect against depression. It is said that B-9 is added by the United States food manufacturers to their enriched grains like pasta and rice. You can also get it from lentils, lima beans and asparagus. God’s pharmacy is great!

Fish like salmon, herring and tuna are high in polyunsaturated fats that can help you fight depression. It is believed that salmon has the highest protein for the fish family. Omega-3 fatty acids may help brain cells use chemicals that can affect your mood. Studies show that people who weren’t depressed had higher levels of omega-3’s than those with the mood disorder.

It is advertised that a good source of vitamin D is milk. If you are a milk drinker, please try to start drinking organic milk. Organic milk does not contain all the extra hormones and antibiotics that are used to treat the cows. A very low level of this nutrient in your body can sometimes cause depression. A Norwegian study found that people who took vitamin D supplements were less depressed a year later than those whodidn’t. If milk isn’t your thing, try those enriched organic cereals and juices. Remember, if you are taking a vitamin D supplement, be sure to get your blood vitamin D levels checked. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is stored by the body in the liver. Too much Vitamin D can cause liver problems and liver failure. The media forgets to tell you that as they are trying to sell products.

You might believe that alcohol is just the thing to take the edge off your worries or make you feel more social, but have your wine, beer and mixed drinks in moderation. Excessive drinking can make depression symptoms worse over time because the alcohol makes your brain less active. It can also make antidepressant meds less effective.

The processed junk foods can be bad for your mood as they are usually high in sugar, simple carbs and fatty foods that affect how you feel. There is a link found between these unhealthy eats and depression. Keep with the well-balanced diet of organic fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein.

Dr Fredda Branyon

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