The World Health Organization reports that 300 million individuals have suffered from depression in the last year alone.
Depression can affect mood, sleep, appetite, concentration, energy, body weight and more. Research has revealed that psychological and pharmacological treatments can support the symptoms of depression. But what about other lifestyle habits like diet? Unfortunately, there is no exact meal plan or “diet” that you can follow that will get rid of depression. There is, however, food that can support an improved mood and lessen the symptoms of this disorder. So let’s take a look!
Meats like chicken and turkey contain tryptophan which has been shown to increase production of the feel good hormone, serotonin. This may positively support symptoms related to depression. Furthermore, a diet with adequate amounts of protein promotes fullness and boosts energy. Try proteins like yogurt, cheese, lean beef, beans and peas.
Carbs, just like tryptophan found in some meats, has an impact on serotonin production. “Carbohydrate consumption–acting via insulin secretion and the “plasma tryptophan ratio”–increases serotonin release.” Choose complex carbs that supports mood and energy like fruits, legumes, vegetables and whole grains.
Studies have shown that Beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E can decrease free radical damage and improve symptoms of depression. Beta carotene can be found in foods like carrots, peaches, pumpkin and spinach. Vitamin C can be found in citrus, kiwi, peppers and tomatoes. Vitamin E can be found in broccoli, nuts, seeds and wheat germ oil.
Various research has found that adequate amounts of Vitamin D can combat symptoms of depression and is especially noticeable in those who suffer from Seasonal Depression Disorder. Learn more here. Fish, eggs, dairy and some fortified foods are excellent dietary sources of Vitamin D.
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey