Depression is hard enough. It can enable you to turn to unhealthy and gut damaging foods that feel better at the moment, but ultimately make you feel worse over time. If you’re struggling with depression, viewing diet as a tool to feel better can be empowering.
Take action and prevent worsening mood, weight gain, metabolic change, and all of the other complications that absolutely no one needs on top of being depressed. A particular study demonstrates that participants with moderate to severe depressive symptoms saw improvement after 12 weeks of nutritional counseling.
If you’re struggling with depression, consult with your mental health care provider to see if a change in diet may help with your symptoms.
1. Include Probiotics
Consuming probiotics can help in reducing depression and anxiety. Incorporating probiotic supplements or probiotics rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, or kimchi can be beneficial as they help to ensure a well-balanced gut that affects mental activity and mood.
Eat: Sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, and dark chocolate.
2. Incorporate Selenium Rich Foods
Eating selenium-packed foods can help improve mood, anxiety, and depression symptoms, according to a study conducted by the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. Selenium is an essential mineral, meaning it must be obtained through your diet. This powerful antioxidant can help fight oxidative stress and protects your body from chronic conditions.
Eat: Whole grains, Brazil nuts, oysters, clams, sardines, crab, liver.
3. Add More Vitamin D Foods
Similar to how sunshine can aid in mental health, consuming vitamin D can as well. Vitamin D can help the brain to release feel-better neurotransmitter serotonin and dopamine.
Eat: Oily fish, beef liver, egg yolk, and cheese.
4. Indulge In Omega 3 Foods
Consuming omega-3 can help reduce the risk of mood disorders, brain disorders, and enhance brain function. However, since depression is a multifactorial disorder, omega-3 fatty acid diets may only be helpful for those with depression due to insufficient omega-3.
Eat: Haddock, tilapia, pollock, catfish, flounder, halibut, tuna, mackerel, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and walnuts.
5. Incorporate B Vitamins (B-12 and B-9)
Foods that contain high levels of B vitamins help to maintain and protect the nervous system, which directly coincides with depression. Low levels of B vitamins can be threatening to mood.
Eat: Eggs, milk, fortified cereals, dark leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, meat.
6. Foods to Stay Away From
Certain foods should be avoided to prevent the onset or aggravation of depression. They can affect the gut, lower serotonin levels, and create dependency.
Avoid: Alcohol, refined sugars and carbs, processed foods, processed oils, trans fats, and red meat.
A Note from GR8NESS
Incorporating these diet tips may help to alleviate or lessen symptoms of depression, but it is not guaranteed. If you or a loved one are experiencing a depressive state or indicative symptoms, please consider consulting with a mental health provider.