10 Foods That Can Help Reduce Depression

Written by: Tim Bura

We have all experienced feelings of sadness, guilt, helplessness and insecurity from time to time.

In most cases these negative feelings are short time guests and they disappear within a few minutes, hours or in a few days. If for some reason, you find that negative feelings keep recurring consistently through out the day and seem to last for more than week or so, then you might suffering from clinical depression.

If you sense that you are experiencing feelings of depression for no concrete reason, then you can assume that there might be a chemical imbalance in your body. Certain foods can help beat depression by compensating for the chemical imbalance that might be causing your mental depression.

It’s important that you make some immediate changes in your lifestyle to curb these bouts of depression. You will also need to look at changing your food habits as they tend to have a huge impact on your mental state.

List of Foods to Eat for Relief from Depression

Generally foods containing the following nutrients can help elevate mood and boost feelings of well-being in humans.

  • Foods rich in magnesium.
  • Foods rich in selenium.
  • Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Foods rich in tryptophan amino acid.
  • Foods rich in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals.
  • Foods rich in folic acid (folate).
  • Foods rich in Vitamin B & Vitamin C.

Listed below are some healthy foods that are extremely effective against treating symptoms related to depression.

1.) Salmon

If you did not know, 60% of your brain is composed of structural fat.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are integral to the structuring of your brain. In fact, the cell membranes are made up of these fatty acids and their lack can contribute to ineffective cellular communication in the brain, leading to conditions like dementia and depression.

Salmon is an oily fish and is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

People who are affected by bouts of depression (for unknown reasons) should try eating more fatty fish, like salmon, in their diet to compensate for any lack of fatty acids in their body.

Some other fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids are sardines, mackerel, lake trout, herring and tuna.

2.) Olive oil

If you are used to eating stir fried foods, try using olive oil for this purpose.

Including 2 tbsp of olive oil in your daily meal will provide you with sufficient mono-saturated fats which are imperative to your brain health.

Olive oil is also rich in various anti-oxidants and phytochemicals that can help reduce the toxicity of your blood.

3.) Walnuts

If you look at the shape of walnut, it’s quite similar to a human brain – it could well be nature’s hint about its excellent value to the brain.

Walnuts are very effective foods for beating depression because of their high content of Omega-3. A quarter cup of walnut three to four times a week should be sufficient to compensate for any lack of this fatty acid in your body.

It’s highly recommended that you eat nuts like pistachios and walnuts on daily basis to provide sufficient fatty acids to your body.

4.) Blueberries

Researchers have found that blueberries contain certain anti-oxidants that prevent conditions of oxidative stress in the brain and can thus avert mental problems like depression, dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Most people who are affected by mood swings and depression found significant improvement in their mental state when they consumed blueberries on daily basis.

The phytochemicals and antioxidants present in blueberries reduce toxicity levels in your blood which directly helps with better brain functioning.

5.) Cocoa

It’s no secret that dark chocolate is a “happy food”, there is scientific evidence to the fact that cocoa contains flavanol and a certain amino acid which generates a neurotransmitter known as serotonin which promotes positive feelings and keeps depression at bay.

Eating a bar of healthy dark chocolate will have you feeling refreshed and positive in no time.  Cocoa is also rich in minerals like manganese, zinc and magnesium which are vital to your brain health.

6.) Grapes

Recent study suggests that resveratol – which is an antioxidant found in the skin of grapes can help reduce inflammation in the body and also help with depression related issues. Resveratol is also found in large amounts in red wine.

This study also found a relationship between inflammation in the body and depression.

7.) Avocados

Avocado is jam packed with omega-3 fatty acids. As mentioned earlier, omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body (especially in the brain) and also helps with the healthy functioning of your brain’s neurotransmitters.

Avocado is also rich in tryptophan which is an amino acid known to help generate calming feeling within the body. This amino acid also lowers anxiety, induces sleep and helps boost a feeling of well being.

8.) Oranges

Oranges and other citrus like lemon and grapefruit can help elevate the mood and induce relaxation.

Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C. This Vitamin has been known to help reduce cortisol in the blood stream and bring back feelings of calm and relaxation. Elevated levels of cortisol in the blood stream activates the sympathetic nervous system that can increase stress levels. Constant presence of cortisol can cause depression.

Oranges contain the mineral Magnesium in large quantities. Magnesium is known to promote relaxation in the body and help boost melatonin levels that aid restful sleep.

There is also Research indicates that magnesium can help people with depression and anxiety.

9.) Flax, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids in addition to other essential nutrients. As mentioned earlier, Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain health and can help reduce depression.

10.) Other Foods

These are only a few examples of popular foods to eat for relief from depression related symptoms.

Other foods like oats, strawberries, brown rice, plums, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables are also known to help balance the mineral and vitamins in your body essential to brain health.

Eating these foods on daily basis will surely bring in a marked change in your mood patterns moving you towards a more positive and vibrant mental state.

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Author Info
I went through an extremely unhealthy period in my life after which I decided to change my lifestyle completely. And I am glad I did. I believe in natural living and positive thinking through inner awareness. 1.) Eat traditional natural foods. 2.) Avoid processed foods. (Once in a while is okay). 3.) Walk everyday. 4.) Eat lots of fruits and drink lots of water. 5.) Snack healthy - Raw veggies, nuts etc. 6.) Be in nature and get lots of sunlight. 7.) Meditate daily for 20 minutes. 8.) Practice relaxation.


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