Eating specific foods with rich nutrients can help those with mental health disorders reduce their symptoms. There are many common and tasty foods for depression. You have probably been taught that a colorful plate is the best way to keep yourself healthy. This is true when it comes to keeping your brain functional.
Vitamins and minerals in foods can help improve your hormone production and give you chemicals your body needs to perform its proper functions. Altering your diet to include more fresh and whole foods has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety in many patients. While food is not going to cure your mental illness, it can help make symptoms more manageable while also elevating your emotional and physical stamina.
These foods listed below can help improve your mental well-being with vitamins and specific nutrients.
1- Leafy And Collard Greens
Leafy greens like lettuce, kale, cabbage, spinach, and more all contain folate which is a chemical your brain needs to function. This is also known as B9 and is often added by food companies to other processed foods like pasta or rice. Some lentils and even asparagus can raise your folate levels and help you manage depression.
Collard greens contain magnesium, which has been proven to help with anxiety, stress, and depression. Including more fruits and vegetables in your diet will help you feel your best.
2- Foods With Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a mood-boosting vitamin that can be found in a lot of popular foods. Most people get their Vitamin D from the sunlight, but that may not be enough to keep you feeling good when you have depression.
Foods that include high levels of Vitamin D include oily fish, fortified dairy, eggs, beef liver, cheese, and some mushrooms. If you can’t get enough Vitamin D from your diet, including supplements in your routine (especially during the winter) can help depression symptoms.
3- Nuts And Seeds
Brazil nuts, almonds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are all good sources of magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. These vitamins are needed in your diet daily because zinc helps your body to absorb magnesium more efficiently. Zinc and magnesium are crucial to brain function and reducing stress.
Brazil nuts also contain something called selenium, which protects your body from free radicals and helps improve depression symptoms. Other foods that contain selenium include brown rice, sunflower seeds, and some seafood.
Tryptophan is used in the body to make serotonin. Eating turkey will help you gain more tryptophan and thus boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is crucial to improving depression because many drugs work to target the way the brain produces the chemical. Mood-boosting effects (on a temporary scale) can come from eating turkey, chicken, and soybeans. Adding more of these white meats to your diet can help elevate your production of serotonin.
Berries, nuts and seeds, and colorful vegetables are all good sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants have shown results in helping those with depression and lowered the risk of developing further symptoms. Antioxidants also help improve other aspects of your health like inflammation, heart health, and eye health. Combining more fruits and vegetables into meals will help you improve in mind and body.
6- Foods With Probiotics
Yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, or probiotic supplements can help improve your gut health. While you may not think your gut health has anything to do with mental health, inflammation, and gut bacteria are linked to mental well-being. Disruptions in your gut bacteria can cause issues with the signals to your brain and lead to lower mental health. Taking the proper strains of probiotics can be helpful to your health in more ways than one.
Combining Food With Therapy For Depression
Depending on your symptoms, using food, medication, and therapy in combination can significantly reduce your depression symptoms. Working with a licensed therapist can give you a better perspective on why your symptoms are presenting and how to limit triggers in your everyday life.
Ogden Psychological Services knows that every patient is unique. We want all of our clients to explore options that will help them take better care of their mental and physical health. If you feel that therapy is right for you, we have a friendly team that is ready to help you get started. Reach out to us to schedule an appointment today!