Depression affects such a large amount of people in the world. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health determined that at least 16.2 million US citizens suffer from at least one depressive episode a year. Depression is characterized by unexplained sadness, irritability, hopelessness, guilt, and apathy. Loss of interest in your favorite things, lack of appetite, insomnia, and social isolation commonly take place in individuals suffering from depression.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a form of depression that takes place when the seasons change. SAD has the same symptoms as depression, but begins in the fall or winter and usually lasts till spring. There are many ways to handle depression, even the food you eat. Take a look at some of these mood stabilizing foods:
Nuts are surprisingly great foods for depression. Walnuts can be particularly beneficial because they have a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. The skin of walnuts is rich in antioxidants from vitamin E and melatonin. These are both great for stabilizing your mood.
2. Cold-water fish
Fish are among the most popular foods for boosting your mood. Many fish are rich in omega-3’s. Many diets from areas like Scandinavia are rich in seafood and are highly recommended as antidepressants. Try eating two or three servings of fish a week. The most beneficial fish are salmon, sardines, oysters, and albacore tuna.
3. Fermented foods
Probiotics are found in many fermented foods such as yogurt and kimchi and are proven to enhance mood. Probiotics keep your gut bacteria healthy. Gut flora has been directly linked to mental health. Great sources of probiotics from fermented foods are kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha.
4. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
Flaxseeds are considered a superfood among many other seeds. They are rich in many nutrients and fiber to help you feel your physical best. Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3’s which are proven to fight depression. They have the added benefit of tryptophan which helps your body naturally produce more serotonin.
5. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are another food that contains loads of omega-3’s. The great thing about chia seeds is there are so many ways to enjoy them. You can use them in salads or trail mix, or you can soak them in water to create a gel. Besides omega-3’s, you’ll find iron, calcium, and magnesium in chia seeds. All nutrients proved to boost your mood.
Everyone likes chocolate, but that’s not why this food is a great mood booster. Chocolate bars and candy barely have much raw chocolate. Stay away from foods that are loaded with sugar and dairy products. Raw chocolate contains antioxidants known as polyphenols. These antioxidants have been proven to enhance mood if consumed daily. Try dark chocolate with low sugar and dairy, or have hot chocolate made with organic cocoa powder.
7. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a preferred mood-boosting food because they contain tryptophans that boost your serotonin levels. They have a low-glycemic index compared to their cousin the white potato. The lower glycemic index prevents mood swings caused by too much sugar.
If you’re looking for natural remedies to stabilize your mood and keep you feeling great, these foods are a wonderful place to start. These foods for depression keep your mind and body healthy and happy.