Depression and anxiety can be debilitating conditions that affect every aspect of our lives. Many people turn to medication in order to treat these illnesses, but did you know that there are also foods to eat to beat depression and anxiety? In this article, we will break down the science of nutritional psychiatry and explain what foods improve mental wellness.
What Is Nutritional Psychiatry?
Nutritional psychiatry is a relatively new field of study that looks at the connection between diet and mental health. While nutritional psychiatry is still in its early stages, the research that has been done so far is promising.
A review of studies found that there is a strong connection between diet and brain cell health. The researchers concluded that dietary interventions could be used to prevent and treat mental illness.
If you want to learn more about how the food we eat greatly affects our mental health, we recommend the book “Eat To Beat Depression And Anxiety” by Drew Ramsey. Ramsey is the founder of the Brain Food Clinic in New York City and an assistant clinical professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In this book, he forges a path toward greater mental health through food.
Foods To Eat To Beat Depression
Here are some key food categories for treating depression and optimizing brain health:
When it comes to nutrient richness-to-calorie ratios, leafy vegetables offer you the most bang for your buck. Spinach, kale, arugula, collards, beet greens, and chard are all high in fiber; vitamin C can protect brain cells from free-radical damage; vitamin A is necessary for proper brain development and function; and the minerals magnesium, potassium, and calcium are all linked to mental health.
Omega-three fatty acids are essential for brain health. These healthy fats can improve cognitive function, reduce inflammation, and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. The best sources of omega-three fatty acids are oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies. You can also get omega-threes from seafood like oysters, crab, and shrimp.
Nuts And Seeds
Aside from seafood, nuts and seeds are great sources of omega-three fatty acids. They are also high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Mental health research has shown that eating a handful of nuts or seeds every day can improve brain health. So make sure to add almonds, pistachios, walnuts, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds to your diet.
Probiotics are bacteria that are good for our gut health. They have been shown to improve mental health by reducing inflammation and easing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso soup, kefir, and pickles.
Meat And Poultry
Meat and poultry are good sources of protein, which is essential for a healthy body and mind. They are also rich in B vitamins, iron, and zinc. These nutrients are important for cognitive function and mental health.
Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that are important for brain and mental health. So make sure to include plenty of them in your diet. Blueberries, bananas, oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers, and squash are all great options.
Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates that can help improve our mood by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is linked to happiness and wellbeing. Whole grains also contain B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and fiber. So make sure to include oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and barley in your diet.
Are There Specific Diets For Depression?
While there is no one-size-fits-all diet for depression, there are some specific diets that have been shown to be helpful:
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and olive oil. This diet has been shown to improve mental health and ease symptoms of depression.
The DASH Diet
The DASH diet is a popular diet plan that has been shown to be effective for mental health. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products and includes moderate amounts of lean meat, fish, and poultry.
These are just some of the best foods to eat to beat depression and anxiety disorders. By adding these nutrient-rich foods to your diet, you can nourish your way to better mental health.
What are some of your favorite foods to eat when you’re feeling down? Let us know in the comments below!
Struggling With Depression?
If you are struggling with depression, there is help available. Try talking to your doctor or a mental health professional about treatment options. You can also join a support group or talk to a friend or family member.
You are not alone in this battle. Depression is an illness that affects millions of people every year. But with the right treatment, you’ll be well on your way to full mental health.