Depression may feel like a lonesome battle no matter how many people are in your life to support you. And until you win it, you must battle it every day. In addition to medication, a healthy diet is a big help. Hence, consume these foods to fight depression.
Health Shots got in touch with nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla to understand how diet can improve mental health and which foods can help manage depression by improving one’s mood.
The connection between food and your mood
You truly are what you eat! In other words, if you eat healthy, you’ll stay healthy; if not, you’ll have health problems. And when it comes to mental health, your nutrition plays a crucial role.
Chawla says, “Gut health has implications beyond digestion as 90 percent of the hormone serotonin, a happy hormone, is made in the gut. This hormone determines mood and behavior. Hence, feeding the gut with the right nutrition will help in the adequate production of this hormone that fuels mental health.” So, let’s take a look at foods that can improve your mental health and fight depression.
Add these 5 nutrients to your diet to boost your mental health:
1. Vitamin B12
Every cell in the body needs vitamin B12 to operate properly. It is a crucial nutrient for the health of the brain as well. Animal products, including meat, fish, and eggs, are sources rich in vitamin B12 and can combat memory loss and fatigue.
2. Vitamin D
The sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, is important for maintaining healthy brain function. Every six months, it’s crucial to monitor its levels and raise them with food and supplements. Egg yolk, salmon, and sardines are vitamin D rich foods that you can consume.
Also read: 8 small steps to help you big time in dealing with depression
3. Vitamin E
As a fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E is crucial for safeguarding brain and peripheral nerve cells. Both vitamin E foods and vitamin E supplements are beneficial. Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, almonds, apples, carrots, tomatoes, and avocados are some foods rich in vitamin E.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is helpful in protecting the brain and nerve cells. Vitamin C-rich foods that you can eat are green leafy vegetables, broccoli, parsley, citrus fruits like lemons and papaya, bell peppers, and cauliflower.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids DHA (most abundant fatty acid in the brain) is imperative for proper brain functioning. Fatty fish, including salmon and sardines, are beneficial.
NOTE: Take these above-mentioned nutrients in adequate doses.
Apart from these nutrients, add these 5 foods to your diet to fight depression:
1. Walnuts: Walnuts are top nuts for brain health as they help improve cognitive health. Its high levels of antioxidants and vitamins improve mental alertness and fight depression.
2. Avocados: Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that help improve cognitive function, both memory and concentration. Apart from it, avocado also contains tryptophan, which helps boost serotonin levels.
3. Blueberries: Blueberries’ high levels of antioxidants help protect the brain from stress, anxiety, and depression. They’ve shown to improve mood and cognition.
4. Broccoli: Broccoli helps keep the memory sharp with its high levels of choline. It can also slow down mental decline and support a good mood.
5. Eggs: Eggs are rich in choline, one of the most fundamental neurotransmitters that is responsible for managing stress and depression.
It is important to stay away from foods that you are allergic or intolerant to, since they can cause brain fog, irritability, and inflammation. So, maintain a healthy diet and eat these foods!