Most physicians are free and loose to prescribe anti-depressives to patients. But as most depression patients will tell you, these medications are only instant and quick solutions. They do not offer long-term solution for the problem.
And truth be told, what we put in our body, and how we treat our body has an impact on what happens upstairs. That means that the food we consume can either improve or even worsen depression. The common stereotype is that when you are depressed you should chocolate or ice cream. But there are many more foods that help with depression.
And the best part is you have a saying in what goes inside your body. You make the call what to eat every single day. That being said, let’s take a look at 9 foods that are better than medications for treating depression.
Technically, green tea is not a good, but a beverage. But it doesn’t matter in this case. The fact of the matter is that green tea can help with anxiety and other mental problems. It comes down to polyphenols, compounds found in green tea that support the production of dopamine. This is the happy hormone, or the happy neurotransmitter if you like. They also help increase your insulin sensitivity. IN other words, polyphenols help you get a steady supply of fuel and energy for your brain.
And the more tea you drink, the better you will feel. So, go for 3 or 4 cups of green tea per day to boost your mood.
Truth be told, all fishes that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids help with depression. But salmon is the best option as it is the best source of omega-3. These fatty acids help you by allowing serotonin, another happy hormone to get to the brain.
Studies have shown that antidepressant effects increase with the amount of omega-3 fatty acids you consume. And when it comes to salmon, always go for organic versions. Wild salmon is the best option. Always stay away from farmed salmon.
Speaking of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is not the only food with loads of it. Avocado is another food that is extremely rich in omega-3. In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, avocado is also on the list of high potassium foods. These foods rich in potassium relieve the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
When it comes to potassium, the recommended daily dose is 4,700mg per day. One avocado will give you provide a huge dose of that.
Another mineral that helps with depression is magnesium. One cup of almonds will provide 258mg of magnesium, which is more than you could ask for.
Magnesium is good for so many things, depression included. In addition to helping with depression, magnesium helps your muscle relax, but also treats migraine. And we know that depression is often accompanied by migraine. So, say goodbye to all those headaches, pain, and discomfort with just a cup of almonds per day.
And not to mention, magnesium helps with menstrual cramping as well. So, bonus for the ladies out there.
Here is that chocolate we mentioned at the beginning. But there is a catch. When we talk about chocolate, that Snickers, Mars, or any other chocolate bar you might reach for will not help. At least not in the long term. Yes, you will feel better for about two minutes. But if you want to get chocolate that really helps with depression, go for dark chocolate.
Rich in cocoa, dark chocolate will increase the amount of both serotonin and dopamine in your brain. That is 2 in 1, as two happy hormones produced by just one food. In addition, dark chocolate reduces the cortisol levels in your body, or the stress hormone. Just do not overeat it. Just 50g of dark chocolate per day is more than enough.
We talked at the beginning that antioxidants help with depression. After all, that is why we had green tea on the list. But blueberries are the gold standard for antioxidants among fruits and veggies. And they taste great as well.
Blueberries take care of the root of the depression problem, the oxidative stress. In addition, blueberries will help your brain grow new cells.
There are few fruits that can combat the banana as a source for minerals. Bananas contain both potassium and magnesium, two of the minerals we said help with depression. They also contain tryptophan, a nutrient that your brain needs to produce positive neurotransmitters. Yes, those same serotonin and melatonin we’ve been raving about.
One or two bananas per day will get the job done.
Spinach is the best leafy green, at least when it comes to depression. Spinach contains the highest amount of folic acid. Studies have shown that folic acid deficiency leads to depression, or at least is common in patients with depression.
This acid boosts your brain’s ability to produce serotonin and dopamine. And the best part is spinach also contains magnesium, a mineral we talked about previously.
Many veggies are rich in folic acid. But spinach and asparagus are the gold standard. This is the stalk vegetable you must include in your daily diet. In addition to folic acid, asparagus also contains B vitamins which boost mental health. Consuming this veggie will help your body convert tryptophan into serotonin.