Certain foods are not just good for you physically. They also enhance your mental and emotional health as well. Our bodies are highly affected by diet, so it makes sense that our brains and emotional state are affected by the food we eat as well. A diet consisting of processed foods and sugar not only contributes to weight gain. For many people, these foods also affect their moods. So, what can you do? Here are some diet tips to help fight depression and improve your overall mood.
Research indicates that diets that are not plentiful with certain vitamins or minerals can cause shortages in mood-enhancing chemicals, such as serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter as well as a mood stabilizer. It plays an important role in alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression. The following foods can increase the amount of serotonin in your bloodstream to elevate your mood.
- Fruits. Fruits such as pineapple, cherries, plums and bananas are all good foods to help improve mood. Cherries also contain melatonin, which is a natural sleep aid.
- Protein. Proteins that aid in serotonin production include turkey, seafood, eggs, whey protein, and beef. Try to select animal products that have not been raised with hormones, and choose grass fed or pasture raised products.
- Nuts. Another serotonin-boosting food is nuts. Nuts boost the manufacture of selenium, which is found to be lacking in patients with depression. Lean meats and legumes contain selenium too.
Nutrients That Ward Off Depression
Beta-carotene. Some of the foods in this group include cantaloupe, carrots, broccoli, and apricots.
Vitamin C-rich foods are citrus fruits, such as limes, oranges, and grapefruit.
Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and wheat germ are all foods that contain vitamin E.
When you take part in an exercise activity, such as walking, jogging, or running, your body produces more of the mood-enhancing hormones called endorphins. Think of producing endorphins like taking a happy pill.
Research shows that people who follow this kind of approach do not need to take mood-enhancing drugs or anti-depressants if they make healthy eating and regular exercise a routine practice.