The diet we take is decisive in our state of mind. Several investigations seek how best to take advantage of the enormous potential of various nutrients. In fact, according to the study’s conclusions, some foods could even help improve the symptoms of depression, as some experts have also revealed.
They conducted various research intending to endow doctors and psychiatrists with tools to sustain their prescriptions for the entire treatment of cases of depression. That also takes into account the task of nutrition in improving the physical condition and mood of the patient. The said aspect holds good, especially for certain nutritional deficiencies. The outcome of the work allowed for obtaining a list of medicines. They call it essential nutrients for the brain, such as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins E, D, B1, B9, and B12. The consumption of the said medications could help lessen ‘emotional disorders‘ such as ‘depression and anxiety.’
Serotonin, The Natural Antidepressant
In our body, we have a neurotransmitter called serotonin, responsible for generating feelings of well-being and happiness. It can cause disorders such as anxiety, depression, or sadness if we do not find it in normal amounts. The consumption of tryptophan, an amino acid, is useful in producing serotonin. The body must ingest ‘tryptophan,’ as it cannot produce serotonin on its own. Therefore, we have to acquire it from foods such as eggs, nuts, or fish.
We must add that these effects are short-term. In other words, our mood can improve in depression with a tasty foods, but if we want to take advantage of these potential properties of food, researchers recommend eating a varied diet. And it is that although it must be emphasized that there are no specific foods to treat depression as such, a healthy diet can be an important part of a general treatment plan that helps us reduce our physical and mental state.
Foods To Improve Mood In Depression
Chocolate is one of the foods we turn to the most in difficult times because, in addition to its irresistible flavor, it can increase the production of ser or toxins in the body. This hormone gives us joy and well-being. However, its high caloric content makes it necessary to limit its consumption to one ounce sporadically. Dark chocolate can be used as an emergency kit in moments of sadness.
According to studies, the loss of Lactobacillus ─bacteria used for fermentation─ caused by stress causes the appearance of the first symptoms of depression. To counter this, they discovered that yogurt contains these bacteria in large quantities, so regular consumption could help prevent this affective disorder.
Walnuts are an essential dry fruit in the diet because, in addition to the studies that support their properties to care for the heart, they could also protect against Alzheimer’s. It will improve mood in depression if you take in your foods. Its vegetable fat content, good if taken in the correct measure, as well as omega 3, magnesium, and selenium, could help us feel better. Plus, they’re high in tryptophan, the amino acid that helps generate serotonin and can lift your mood.
A good coffee encourages anyone because its caffeine content makes us alert and awakens our attention span. But in addition, it also seems to have a protective effect when preventing stress from leading to depression. However, experts warn that its consumption should be avoided during pregnancy and postpartum depression, as it could cause the opposite effect desired and cause stress, intensifying this affective disorder.
Researchers have also highlighted spicy foods as prospective helpers in improving symptoms of depression. Chili is just like any spicy food. It is thermo-genic and increases blood circulation. Further, it provides capsaicin, a chemical compound that helps the brain produce more endorphins. It is another hormone related to happiness and emotional ‘well-being.’ You can also get capsaicin from ginger or the pepper family.
Salmon and other fish, such as tuna, contain a large amount of polyunsaturated fat. According to a study, one of them is omega 3, whose levels are lower in a person with depression than in one without it. However, the amounts of omega 3 in the latter are lower. For this reason, regularly eating this or other fish, such as anchovies or sardines, is recommended.
Milk is an excellent fluid of vitamin D – the ‘sunshine vitamin’ – present in a few foods. According to a study, people with normal amounts of this vitamin have a lower risk of depression. If the milk taste is not very funny, you can replace it with cheese, cereals, or canned fish. Opt for the most natural varieties without skimming or pasteurizing is best.
The egg – especially the yolk – is a food rich in the amino acid par excellence when talking about well-being, tryptophan. Despite the myths around it, dietitian Raquel Bernácer affirms that it can be consumed between four and five times a week, limiting it to three if the person has high cholesterol.
Like almost all lean protein-rich foods, Turkey has large amounts of tryptophan, an essential ingredient to stimulate the body’s production of serotonin. This natural substance is key in developing depression, according to researchers. This bird can also be substituted for chicken, although the amounts of tryptophan are considerably reduced.
10. Green vegetables
Green leafy vegetables, such as kale or spinach, have large amounts of folic acid or vitamin B9, necessary for the proper functioning of brain cells. The study’s conclusions reveal that we could reduce the risk of depression with regular consumption of folic acid, which is very abundant in these vegetables.