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Ideal Foods to Eat When Trying to Fight Depression

Depression is a serious mental illness that plagues millions of people each year. It is essentially the state of feeling sad or hopeless for long periods of time. Those who suffer from depression are often down, causing them to isolate themselves from things that once bought them happiness. As depression is a complex illness, it can take a number of treatments to completely cure. 

It is always recommended that you speak with your doctor to have treatment options such as TMS therapy explained. Along with traditional treatments like talk therapy and medication, your doctor will also go over the importance of changing lifestyle habits like your diet. This is because there has been increasing information about how what you eat can impact more than just your body – but your mind. 

Unfortunately, many of the most popular food choices are overly processed or filled with sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients which throw off the body’s natural chemical balance. This imbalance, in turn, leads to a multitude of problems from weight fluctuations to mental illness like depression. Therefore, incorporating foods that improve your mood can essentially help to ease or even eliminate symptoms of depression. Below is a look at some foods to start eating on a regular basis to aid in overcoming depression. 

Antioxidants 

Free radicals are bad for your health. When present in the body in large quantities, it can cause everything from cell damage to rapid aging. To protect your mind and body, it is recommended that you consume foods containing antioxidants. They naturally help to reduce the production of free radicals. There are several types of food sources you can get antioxidants from. This includes foods that contain beta-carotene, vitamin c, and vitamin e. There are a lot of foods in these categories including broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, nuts, and seeds.

Complex Carbs

Though studies are still new on this, it is believed that a person who is craving carbohydrates may very well be running low on serotonin (a chemical in the body attributed to happiness). Unfortunately, they consume the wrong types of carbs including white bread, rice, and white potatoes which gives them a temporary sugar rush. Consuming complex carbs, on the other hand, can provide a calming feeling. Start eating whole and ancient grains like wheat bread and quinoa. You can also eat sweet potatoes, fruits, and other veggies. 

Protein Can Improve Your Mood

Protein is good for more than just building strong muscles. It’s great for helping the body to naturally produce serotonin. Protein contains an amino acid known as tryptophan which can help increase serotonin levels. You can get your daily portion of protein from consuming things like tuna, salmon, turkey, chicken, or beef. However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, there are other sources like eggs, beans, peas, cheese, soy, and yogurt. 

Vitamin D

Did you know that low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression? In fact, those who suffer from seasonal depression often feel better once the spring and summer come around. That’s because they’re able to increase their exposure to the sun’s rays (which have the most source of vitamin D). Try getting outside every day for at least 15-20 minutes to see if that improves your mood. You can also get vitamin D from certain food sources like dairy products and foods with vitamin D added like fruit juices. 

Dietary Supplements

It’s not always easy to get the recommended dose of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals in your regular diet. This can cause some deficiencies which can lead to depression and other health problems. Therefore, it may be ideal for you to consider taking daily supplements to help pick up the slack. Be sure to talk with your doctor first to ensure you’re not consuming more than you should as too much of a good thing can essentially be bad for you. 

Overcoming depression takes time, patience, and discipline and may require a series of treatments before the best path is determined for you. Through it all, however, making healthy lifestyle changes such as the foods you eat, can greatly reduce those feelings of sadness and help the body to naturally produce “feel good” hormones and fight off free radicals which put you in a better position to beat depression for good. 

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