If you’re feeling blue, these foods may be just what you need to pick yourself up! From mood-boosting omega-3s to depression-fighting antioxidants, these nutrients can help give you a much-needed mental health boost and help you fight depression.
Dark Leafy Greens: Inflammation Fighter
Depression is a serious medical condition that can have a negative impact on your mood, thoughts, and behaviors.
While there are many different types of depression, one common thread is inflammation.
Inflammation is a normal response by your immune system to protect your body against infection or injury.
But when inflammation persists, it can contribute to depression.
One of the best ways to fight inflammation is with diet.
And one of the best foods to eat for fighting inflammation is dark leafy greens.
Dark leafy greens contain nutrients that help fight inflammation, including vitamins A, C, and E, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
They also contain powerful antioxidants that help protect against cell damage.
Some of the best dark leafy greens to eat for fighting inflammation include kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, and mustard greens.
So next time you’re feeling down, reach for a healthy helping of dark leafy greens!
Walnuts: Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fat considered “essential” because the body cannot make them on its own.
These fatty acids are important for maintaining cell membranes, reducing inflammation, and supporting brain and heart health.
While you can find omega-3s in various foods, walnuts are one of the best sources.
Just 1 ounce (28 grams) of walnuts provides more than 2.5 grams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based form of omega-3.
Moreover, research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may help decrease symptoms of depression.
Another study found that taking a fish oil supplement — which is high in omega-3s — reduced depressive symptoms in people with major depressive disorder (4).
Avocado: Oleic Acid for Brain Power
Avocado is delicious and a great source of healthy fats that can help improve your mood.
The main fat in avocado is oleic acid, which has been shown to boost brain power.
Oleic acid is a type of omega-9 fatty acid that’s also found in olive oil.
It’s linked to improved cognitive function and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to oleic acid, avocados are a good source of B vitamins, including folate, which is important for mental health.
Avocados are also high in fiber, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
If you’re looking for a brain-boosting breakfast, try pairing avocado with egg.
The combination of healthy fats and protein will help satisfy you until lunchtime.
Then, add avocado to salads or use it as a healthier alternative to mayonnaise in sandwiches.
Berries: Cell Repairing Antioxidants
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are all jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidants that are not only good for your body but also good for your mind.
These little flavor powerhouses can help improve mood, fight depression and repair cells.
The anthocyanins in berries are effective in treating mental health conditions like depression.
Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their color.
These pigments act as antioxidants in the body and have been linked to many health benefits, including improved mental health.
One study found that people who ate foods high in anthocyanins had a lower risk of depression.
Another study found that people who ate blueberries had a lower risk of developing cognitive decline and memory problems.
So, why not add some berries to your breakfast or snack routine?
Eat them fresh, frozen or dried.
Add them to yogurt, cereal or oatmeal.
Or enjoy them as a healthy dessert option.
Whatever way you choose to eat them, know that you’re doing something good for your mind and body!
Mushrooms: Lower Blood Sugar
Depression can be caused or worsened by blood sugar swings.
When blood sugar gets low, it can trigger feelings of sadness, fatigue, and irritability.
Managing blood sugar can help improve mood and fight depression.
One way to stabilize blood sugar is to eat foods that lower blood sugar.
Mushrooms are a great food for this purpose.
They have a low glycemic index, which means they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar.
Mushrooms also contain compounds that help the body manage blood sugar.
Onions: Cancer Fighting Allium
Onions should be a dietary staple, not only because they add delicious flavor to so many dishes but also because they offer a unique set of health benefits.
For example, allium vegetables like onions, garlic, and leeks are especially beneficial in promoting cancer prevention.
The particular compounds in onions that offer cancer-fighting benefits are sulfur-containing chemicals known as thiosulfinates.
These chemicals help the onion plant to defend itself against attacks by pests and diseases.
When we eat onions, these same compounds are thought to help protect our cells against damage that can lead to cancer.
These sulfur-containing chemicals are also responsible for the tears that form when cutting into an onion.
The best way to maximize the cancer-fighting potential of onions is to consume them raw or at least uncooked.
Cooking an onion destroys many of the beneficial thiosulfinates.
So slice some onions raw into salads or salsa, or grate them into guacamole for an extra nutritional boost.
Tomatoes: Depression Fighters
The benefits of tomatoes go beyond their delicious taste.
Tomatoes are also a great way to fight depression.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to have mood-boosting properties.
In addition, tomatoes are a good source of folic acid, a nutrient that helps to regulate mood.
So why not add some tomatoes to your next meal?
Not only will they taste great, but they can help you fight depression!
Beans: Mood Stabilizing Fiber
They are one type of food that can be especially helpful.
Beans are rich in fiber, which can help to stabilize your mood.
They also contain nutrients known to be beneficial for your mental health.
Different types of beans can have different benefits.
For example, black beans have been shown to reduce inflammation.
This is important because inflammation has been linked to depression.
Black beans are also a good source of folate, a nutrient critical for mental health.
Other beans, such as kidney beans and pinto beans, are also beneficial for mental health.
Kidney beans contain a compound called niacin, which has been shown to help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
Pinto beans contain a type of fiber called resistant starch, which has been shown to have mood-boosting effects.
If you’re looking for foods that can help fight depression, add beans to your diet.
They’re an easy and delicious way to get the mood-stabilizing benefits of fiber and the other nutrients essential for mental health.
Apples: Antioxidants and Fiber
Apples are a nutritious fruit that offers many health benefits.
They are rich in fiber and antioxidants and have been linked to a lower risk of several chronic diseases.
The fiber in apples can help to regulate digestion and promote feelings of fullness, which may help to prevent overeating.
Apples also contain antioxidants that protect against cell damage and chronic diseases like cancer.
Eating apples has been linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Furthermore, apples may also aid in weight loss by helping.
Many different things can cause depression, and it is different for everyone.
However, some common things can help.
Eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep are all important in fighting depression.
There are also specific foods that have been shown to help with depression.
Salmon, blueberries, turmeric, and leafy greens are all excellent choices.
Adding these to your diet may help to improve your mood and fight off depression.
Apples are a great option if you’re looking for a nutritious fruit to add to your diet.
However, be sure to eat them with the skin for maximum benefit, as the skin contains most of the fiber and antioxidants.