If you are suffering from depression, then one natural way to deal with this problem is to change your diet. What we eat affects how we feel, both mentally and physically. Many studies show that certain types of food contain ingredients essential for a good mental health, and if these foods are absent from our diets this may lead to mental disorders such as depression.
According to two recent studies, conducted in Spain and London, a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, whole grains and olive oil can prevent depression. It also seems that the Mediterranean diet protects against this condition.
Although depression is not caused by just one factor, eating well is a step in the right direction, and the deficiency of certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids appears to be directly related to our lack of mental health.
So, take a look at the foods you need to eat in order to fight depression:
- Selenium: Studies have linked this condition to low levels of selenium. The consumption of raw grains, meat, eggs can be an effective way to increase your selenium intake, but the easiest way is to eat a handful of nuts. Brazil nuts in particular are an excellent source of selenium.
- Fish: The omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish can improve your mood. Omega 3’s are found in oily fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon, and vegetarians can consume oil from flax or pumpkin seeds.
- Green vegetables: Several scientific studies have shown a link between low levels of vitamin B and psychiatric disorders. Folic acid (which is a B vitamin) is believed to play an important role in preventing depression. To increase the folic acid you consume you need to eat slightly undercooked green vegetables and legumes.
- Foods rich in tryptophan: Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that can raise your serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin are often associated with depression. Foods rich in tryptophan are chicken and turkey, tuna, salmon, beans and grains. These foods can be very helpful because serotonin acts exactly the same way as antidepressants.
- Water: Drinking more water is essential because even a mild dehydration can affect your mood and physical health. For this reason you should drink at least half a litre of water a day.
- Low glycemic index foods: The GI indicates how fast a certain food can raise the level of sugar in your blood. According to a study, there is a relationship between high GI and depression and that’s why you need to try to choose low GI foods like beans, legumes, and fruits such as apples and oranges. On the contrary, foods with high GI, such as refined white bread, potatoes and sweets should be avoided.