Foods to fight depression – a Muesli mix containing pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts and almonds is packed with good sources of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has been strongly linked to depressive symptoms.
Can the answer to beating depression really lie in food? Yes it can. People may have told you to get out and have fun, socialize and have a good time getting drunk, but that could make you feel worse. What they didn’t tell you was that feeling good could lie in some pretty special foods that don’t mean spending your way out of depression. These are the six dynamic ‘depression fighting’ groups of foods that have specific properties to stimulate certain hormones and fan the flames of happiness.
Foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan facilitate the body’s uptake of the wonderful neurotransmitter serotonin. We want plenty of serotonin to feel good and beat depression. High tryptophan foods are:
• Soy products: soy milk, tofu, soybean nuts
• Whole grains
• Hazelnuts, peanuts
• Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids are another type of compound which has been proven to lift depression. Omega-3 compounds are a form of polyunsaturated fats, one of four basic types of fat that the body derives from food. All polyunsaturated fats, including the omega-3s, are increasingly recognized as important to human health but they cannot be produced by the body, which means they need to be provided by our diet. A lack of Omega-3 mood boosting nutrients may lead to depression and other mental health problems. Here is a list of the gorgeous Omega-3 fat sources:
• Canola oil
• Olive oil
• Flaxseed oil
3. Folic acid
Research shows that people with low levels of folic acid are more like to suffer from depression. Scientists at the UK Medical Research Council recommend plenty of folic acid daily as a preventative measure for depression. Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and the body can’t retain it for long, with any excess being expelled in the urine. This means that any of us could be deficient in folic acid at any one time; it is a hard vitamin to keep in the body. Eating some of these foods will help keep your levels high.
• Dried beans
• Brussels sprouts
Magnesium deficiency has been strongly linked to depressive symptoms. It is necessary for the absorption of calcium and is the primary mineral required by the adrenal glands to help the body cope with stress. Increasing your magnesium levels could help with muscle cramps, sleep problems, fatigue and depression. Eat some of these foods to add magnesium to your diet:
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sunflower seeds
• Brazil nuts
• Buckwheat, almonds
5. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is a particularly brilliant vitamin for helping reduce susceptibility to mood changes and is a good mood-enhancer, excellent for irritability, aids good sleep and helps alleviate depression. Foods high in B6 include:
• Sweet potatoes
6. Vitamin D
This is called the sunlight vitamin because the body produces it when the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays strike the skin. It is the only vitamin the body manufactures naturally and is technically considered a hormone. Vitamin D has been a key nutrient to help Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) sufferers and one study found that people with SAD who received increased amounts of Vitamin D achieved a significant improvement in depression symptoms – albeit after one month. Foods high in Vitamin D are:
Vitamin D supplements are cheap and easy to obtain and a wise investment for helping to beat depression.
When Alexandra Massey was pole-axed with depression she looked for ways to help herself recover without resorting to prescription drugs. She is a passionate champion for those who still suffer www.alexandramassey.co.uk.
In her latest book, Beat Depression Fast, Alexandra provides a ten-step programme to follow in an easy, straightforward sequence that builds on strengths and skills.
Featuring practical exercises throughout to help put theory into practice, this book will help you make real changes from Day One.
Beat Depression Fast: 10 Steps to a Happier You by Alexandra Massey