For millions of Americans, depression is a very significant issue. All the evidence you really need is found in the steady growth of prescription medicine to help people cope with depression symptoms. If you are having depression symptoms, we urge you to see your primary care physician. However, we do want to let you know that the foods you are eating may be contributing to these symptoms.
The experts at Life Extension recently updated their readers on emerging research that shows the types of foods you can eat that may help you avoid depression and which types of foods may in fact be contributing to depression. They cite three different studies that were independently featured in the British Journal of Psychology, Journal of Rheumatology and books specializing in this topic.
Although the research studies quoted were different in focus, each supported the fact that what you eat has a chemical reaction in your body that can either promote good feelings or cause feelings of depression. One of the studies was fascinating as it linked inflammation as a cause of depression and heart disease to diets containing higher amounts of processed foods. Another concluded that balanced diets of healthy food increased serotonin and dopamine levels, which are the chemicals in the brain that signal energy, relaxation or calming.
The bottom line seems to be that a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meat and fish can have very real and positive effects on your mood. On the flip side, a diet of foods high in fat, sugar and processed and fried foods may be releasing chemicals into your body that can cause feelings of depression. Although the article gives many good examples of what to eat, our top five foods to stave off depression are:
- Vegetables — the author suggests green leafy vegetables and others such as edamame, spinach and broccoli.
- Fruits — blackberries, bananas and watermelon are possible depression fighters.
- Seafood seafood such as salmon and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the body. The article also lists shrimp as good seafood to consume.
- Protein — getting foods high in protein are extremely important. Try foods such as eggs, beans and lentils.
- Whole Grains, Nuts and Seeds — these can be good for your mood and heart healthy. Look for breads that are whole grain and foods such as oatmeal, flaxseeds and walnuts can be good additions to your diet.