If you’re struggling with feeling down or more irritable than you’d like, it might be time to think about what you’re putting into your body in terms of food and drink. There really are feel good foods that help depression. Experts in nutrition say that what we’re eating can have a positive, or negative, effect on our mood over both the short and long term.
It makes sense… keeping blood sugar steady and your gastrointestinal (GI) tract running smoothly will certainly help you feel great and full of energy.
Blood sugar that’s hitting highs and lows makes you more likely to feel bad and uncomfortable. When your digestive system is stressed, either because you’re withholding food by following a fad diet, or not getting enough water and fiber to keep things running smoothly, you can’t be at your best.
Here are suggestions for foods that are known to help you overcome depression.
1. Eat foods rich in B12 and folic acid - as these two vitamins appear to help prevent problems with the central nervous system, mood disorders and dementia according to Edward Reynolds from King’s College, London. Folic acid is in beans and greens; B12 comes in meats, fish, poultry and dairy.
2. Enjoy lots of fruits and veggies - one study found that eating two added servings of these foods a day was linked to an 11% higher likelihood of good health. Those who ate the highest amount of fruits and veggies felt better about their health. Both are packed with nutrients and that helps to a healthy life.
3. Eat selenium rich foods - in whole grains like oatmeal, whole grain bread and brown rice, this mineral acts like an antioxidant inside the body, and research suggests that the presence of oxidative stress in the brain is linked to some cases of depression in the elderly. One study found that in the elderly, taking selenium supplements brought significant decreases in depression. Do what you can to get the recommended daily allowance of this nutrient, 55 micrograms a day for adults.
4. Eat fish – there have been several recent studies that find adults have a lower risk of depression if they eat fish. Fish seems to have positive effects on clinically defined mood disorders (postpartum depressin is an example) according to Jay Whelan, PhD the head of the department of nutrition at the University of Tennessee. Try herring, rainbow trout, salmon, sardines or tuna.
5. Get your daily vitamin D – very few foods naturally contain vitamin D (salmon, tuna and mackerel, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks), but there are fortified foods like breakfast cereals, breads, juice and milk. You can get vitamin D naturally from a few minutes of exposure to sunlight during off-peak hours or with supplements