Many of us have suffered from depression at some point in our life, or maybe we are still dealing with it. Depression is a sickness that causes persistent feelings of sadness. It is caused, partly, by chemical imbalances in the brain. This is why to beat depression, we need to be kinder to our brains.
There are many ways to be kinder to our brains for the betterment of our mental health. We can exercise or go out to breathe in fresh air. Other methods of dealing with depression include eating the right food.
How do we know what foods are good for our mental health? We’ve got you covered with this list of eight foods you need to eat to help in better mental health.
If you want to snack on something sweet, avoid the sugary treats since sugar can be bad for your mental health. Instead try snacking on delicious fruits like apples. You won’t just be kind to your body, you’ll also be looking after your mental health.
Apples contain high loads of antioxidants which can help in cellular repair. This is why this delicious fruit can help in preventing oxidation damage and inflammation in the cellular level of our bodies. Additionally, apples are a great source of fiber. Fiber acts as a cleansing tool for our digestive system and helps with balancing blood sugar swings.
Remember the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, they have never been more right!
Don’t just stop with apples, get ready to pack more mental power by adding avocados to your diet! One whole avocado can go a long way.
Avocados are known to be power foods. This is because they contain healthy fat that helps your mind run smoothly. Furthermore, the fat from avocados are mainly monounsaturated fat which are considered to be the healthier type of fat. This superfruit is also packed with more protein than other fruits. Adding to that, avocados also contain vitamin B (B9, B6, and B5), vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E12.
Eating an avocado can give you high amounts of fiber while staying away from sugar.
Our bodies digest beans slower making blood sugar levels stabilize which in turn can be good for anyone’s mood.
Beans, aside from being good for the heart, also aid in weight loss and help fight diabetes. Instead of binging on fatty and oily meats for your protein intake, try to munch on beans. Doing so will be better for your heart, body, and mind.
If you think eating beans is boring, you can spice things up by adding these protein heavy treats into your salad.
Most berries are great sources of antioxidants. Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries contain more antioxidants than other foods. Even strawberries, which are not really berries, are loaded with the good stuff.
Antioxidants, as its name suggests, helps fight oxidation in the body. This means that antioxidants function to repair cells and prevent them from getting illnesses.
You can try to include berries to your breakfast to supply your body with your daily dose of antioxidants. Thinking of blueberry pancakes? Go ahead and berry up your meal!
5. Dark Leafy Greens
Perhaps the healthiest food that is readily available to many of us are dark leafy greens. Broccoli, lettuce, kale, and spinach are some of the dark leafy greens we can find in any supermarket.
Dark leafy greens help in preventing normal cells to turn into cancer cells. They are loaded with the good stuff that we need everyday, vitamins A, C, E, and K, among other minerals. These vegetables also help fight all kinds of inflammation, even brain inflammation. A study found links of severe depression with brain inflammation. This means that a daily intake of these dark leafy greens can help with the manifestations of depression.
Mushrooms help in keeping blood sugar levels low. Thus, its chemical properties help in balancing out your mood. Aside from this, mushrooms also help promote healthy bacteria in the gut. Nerve cells in the gut manufacture almost all of our body’s dose of serotonin or what is called the happy chemical. Serotonin contributes to our mental health and happiness. And since most serotonin is manufactured in the gut, we need to protect our intestinal health too. You can do so by biting on a mushroom!
Instead of snacking on some unhealthy potato chips, try eating seeds like sunflower,chia, or pumpkin seeds. You will be kinder to yourself by avoiding too much salt and packing up, instead, on omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in helping lower the risk of depression. If you don’t like getting your omega-3s from fish oil, you can still get them from seeds.
Whether you like them raw, baked, or put in a soup, eating tomatoes aid in fighting depression. Tomatoes help in curing depression because they are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that helps reduce stress and repair damaged brain cells.
Aside from this, tomatoes contain high doses of folic acid. Studies show that a lot of people with depression suffer from folate deficiency. Tomatoes help fight the blues by giving our bodies enough folic acid.
Another study suggests that eating a tomato every day can help reduce your risk of depression. Adding to that, tomatoes help make your skin glow. That means fighting two birds with one stone!
There are many different ways to help with keeping great mental health. However, the best strategy is always to have a holistic approach when dealing and combating depression. This means we shouldn’t just be eating the right foods. Exercise, fresh air, good company, medication, and being in a conducive environment should all be done on top of having a proper diet.