Feeling a bit under the weather because of the current situation.? Are you dealing with depression? Does it feel like your mental health needs a little more attention? we know it's not easy but when one at least follows a proper diet you can manage it slightly better. According to the guys over at HealthLine, it all starts with a good night's rest(sleep a little more people) and eating the right foods.
Some sound advice is to start eating lots more fresh produce throughout your day, so make sure to stop at the grocery store at least once or twice a week and stock up on these feel-good foods which you can munch on every day. They provide all the nutrients your body needs to fight off inflammation in the brain, which is one of the leading causes of depression.
Side note: Stay away from gluten, dairy, caffeine, and sugar. (we know it’s hard😁)
Dark leafy greens are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you thinking of the healthiest, most nutritious item on your shopping list. You might just be right, so make sure you get enough of these in your diet at least every day, like:
- Swiss chard
“Joel Fuhrman, in his book The End of Dieting. says things like beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, seeds etc have the most powerful immune-boosting and anticancer effects. Leafy greens fight against all kinds of inflammation, and according to a study published in March 2015 in JAMA Psychiatry, severe depression has been linked with brain inflammation. Leafy greens are especially important because they contain oodles of vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals, and phytochemicals.”
One of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids is Walnuts, and numerous studies have demonstrated how omega-3 fatty acids support brain function and reduce depression symptoms. You can read more on that here: study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry
If we could we would eat at least one Avo each day. Avocados are power foods because they contain healthy fat that your brain needs in order to run smoothly. Three-fourths of the calories of an avocado are from fat, mostly monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid.
Did you know? An average avocado contains 4 grams of protein, higher than other fruits, and is filled with vitamin K, different kinds of vitamin B (B9, B6, and B5), vitamin C, and vitamin E12. Finally, they are low in sugar and high in dietary fiber, containing about 11 grams each.
Some of the highest antioxidant foods available to us today are blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. If you can try to get at least some in every morning with your breakfast.
“In a study published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, patients were treated for two years with antioxidants or placebos. After two years those who were treated with antioxidants had a significantly lower depression score. Antioxidants are like DNA repairmen. They go around fixing your cells and preventing them from getting cancer and other illnesses.”
Here are two good reasons why mushrooms are good for your mental health. First, their chemical properties oppose insulin, which helps lower blood sugar levels, evening out your mood. They also are like a probiotic in that they promote healthy gut bacteria. And since the nerve cells in our gut manufacture 80 to 90 percent of our body’s serotonin — the critical neurotransmitter that keeps us sane — we can’t afford to not pay attention to our intestinal health.
Just talking about them makes you wanna cry right, these guys are definitely not on anyone's favorite mood-booster foods list. However, Dr Fuhrman’s G-BOMBS because onions and all allium vegetables (garlic, leeks, chives, shallots, and spring onions) have all been associated with a decreased risk of several cancers. (They are also layered with Cancer-Fighting Allium)
“Eating onions and garlic frequently is associated with a reduced risk of cancers of the digestive tract,” explains Fuhrman. “These vegetables also contain high concentrations of anti-inflammatory flavonoid antioxidants that contribute to their anticancer properties.” Again, if you consider the relationship between your digestive tract and your brain, it is understandable why a food that can prevent cancers of the gut would also benefit your mood.”
Tomatoes contain lots of folic acids and alpha-lipoic acid, both of which are good for fighting depression. So try to eat at least a few tomatoes each day because research published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and many other studies show an elevated incidence of folate deficiency in patients with depression. In most of the studies, about one-third of depression patients were deficient in folate. Tomatoes are packed with depression fighters.
“Folic acid can prevent an excess of homocysteine — which restricts the production of important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine — from forming in the body. Alpha-lipoic acid keeps coming up as I read more about nutrition and the brain, so I have begun to take it as a supplement, as well. It helps the body convert glucose into energy and therefore stabilizes mood.”
“Beans, are not only good for giving you gas, they also good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you ... smile.” They make the G-BOMB list because they can act as anti-diabetes and weight-loss foods. They are good for my mood because my body (and everybody) digests them slowly, which stabilizes blood sugar levels. Any food that assists me in evening out my blood sugar levels is my friend. They are the one starch that I allow myself, so on top of a salad, they help mitigate my craving for bread and other processed grains.
When I’m close to reaching for potato chips or any kind of comfort food, I allow myself a few handfuls of sunflower seeds or any other kind of seed I can find in our kitchen. Seeds are the last food on Fuhrman’s G-BOMBS list.
Flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are especially good for your mood because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Fuhrman writes, “Not only do seeds add their own spectrum of unique disease-fighting substances to the dietary landscape, but the fat in seeds increases the absorption of protective nutrients in vegetables eaten at the same meal.”
An apple a day could — if eaten with the rest of these foods — keep the psychiatrist away, at least for stretches of time. Like berries, apples are high in antioxidants, which can help to prevent and repair oxidation damage and inflammation on the cellular level. They are also full of soluble fibre, which balances blood sugar swings. A snack I have grown to love is almond butter on apple slices. I get my omega-3 fatty acid along with some fibre.
Credit to the authors and EveryDayHealth. The above mentioned are the views of the authors and not of the Memo Health Assistant.