Research indicates that what you eat will determine your overall health, which may explain why you feel happy or experience an adrenaline rush when you indulge in certain foods. There are times, however, when it isn’t possible to indulge in foods that lift your spirits. Fortunately, there are several healthy choices that can trigger certain neural responses to help manage problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Below is a list of five of the best foods you can eat to manage depression.
1. Probiotics, fermented foods, and beverages
Healthy digestion of food releases live bacteria that boost the production of serotonin in the gut. Most neurotransmitters are produced in the gut. Serotonin regulates mood, behavior, stress response, appetite, and even vigor. Fermented foods that improve gut health include yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, tempeh, pickled vegetables, kimchi, and kombucha. In addition to buttermilk, fermented beverages such as beer and wine are readily available and safe to consume on a daily basis. Alternatives to probiotic supplements include organic and natural supplements, but only after consulting with a nutritionist.
2. fish Fatty
Brain function can be affected by a lack of omega 3. Thus, one of the best foods to help manage depression is fish that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 changes the chemical structure of your brain and increases dopamine and serotonin levels in your body, which can help relieve any symptoms of depression. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring, and others can reduce anxiety.
3. Lean meats
Foods such as chicken and turkey, which are rich in protein and help to overcome depression, include lean cuts of meat from sources such as poultry and turkey. It is important to remember that lean meat is rich in a compound called tryptophan, an amino acid that is mainly involved in the production of serotonin naturally. An increase of tryptophan levels is directly related to the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters in the brain.
4. Green vegetables
A vitamin B folate is an essential nutrient in the body that is capable of regulating metabolic activity and can affect the production of serotonin and dopamine. The best way to boost your mood is to eat leafy greens as they are one of the healthiest choices you can make. Folates can be found in many vegetables, including spinach, edamame, artichokes, broccoli, avocado, and turnip greens. The inclusion of these foods in your daily diet will help to promote the production of important neurotransmitters that regulate your mood as well.
5. Other foods
Other than these healthy foods that boost mood, there are a few exceptions that you should be aware of. Dark chocolate, for example, contains flavonoids which are known to promote healthy blood flow to the brain and to reduce inflammation. There are a variety of fruits, such as bananas, that are rich in vitamin B6 and fiber, both of which help to manage blood sugar levels naturally. In addition, certain berries have an abundance of antioxidants which are helpful in combating the oxidative damage which can lead to depression.