Feeling down? Eating berries, legumes and other healthy foods can help you get back on track.
October is Depression Awareness Month across the country. According to Scientific American, 1 in 6 people in the U.S takes a psychiatric drug, be it an anti-depressant, anxiety reliever or anti-psychotic pill.
What causes depression? It’s can be a complex mix of physical and environmental factors.
Maybe you lost your job or a loved one, and life became difficult to handle on a daily basis. Or, a chemical imbalance in your brain made regular life intolerable.
“Something abnormal is really happening in the brain chemicals particularly seratonin [which is] a mood chemical and once it gets imbalanced then it creates symptoms,” explains psychiatrist Dr. Randy Dellosa.
Experts say a man who is depressed may feel overly tired, angry and irritable, whereas a woman may feel overly sad, worthless and guilty. Children may refuse to go to school and express anxiety when separated from their parents, and teens can be more prone to getting in trouble.
It can be a difficult road to travel but a mixture of emotional support, life changes and medication can alleviate your symptoms and take away the suffocating feelings of long term depression.
It’s also been shown that certain foods can help to prevent negative feelings from taking over and dominating your life.
“For those people who do not respond to medication, some of these other holistic approaches and using nutrition is just so exciting,” says writer Rachel Kelly, author of The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food.
This isn’t necessarily a replacement for other therapies, but eating a healthy diet with these common items can help to protect you, when times get tough.
Here are 5 best foods for fighting off depression:
1) Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key ingredient in warding off depression, and fish like salmon are full of them.
Foods like walnuts are full of those beautiful omega-3 fatty acids. Butternuts, a close relative of walnuts, are also high in them. Grab a handful and eat up!
All the fiber found in beans can be good for helping to stabilize your blood sugar. While it might not be the answer to treating deep depression, having adequate blood sugar levels can certainly make you happier and more likely to face the world with a smile.
4) Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale and Swiss chard are all great add-ons to your diet, when it comes to overall good health and fighting depression. They attack inflammation in your body and that includes your brain. They’re also packed with nutrients.
Blueberries, black berries, cranberries, you name it: they’re all anti-oxidant paratroopers. As such, they can be a great line of defense in fighting inflammation in your body. Top up your salads and cereal with them to get a good daily dose and enjoy.
Photo credits: savitskaya iryna; Marian Weyo/Shutterstock; maxpro/Shutterstock