We’ve all had the blues once in while. But when they happen on a more
frequent basis, it becomes cause for concern. But there are ways to adjust your
diet to help stabilize your mood. It’s imperative to eat meals at regular intervals
in order to keep your serotonin levels in check, a chemical in the brain that has a
calming effect. Good nutrition is your best defense for managing depression.
Carbohydrates are linked to serotonin production and lack of carbohydrates may
cause changes in your mood. Here are more food ideas to help you combat
depression and kick those blues.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon and mackerel are always a great choice for
dinner. Omega-3 fatty acids also help prevent some serious ailments. Plus,
salmon contains selenium, an important antioxidant mineral. Be sure to choose
wild salmon at the grocery store or local fish market, since it contains more
omegas than farmed, or Atlantic, salmon.
A recent study indicated that people who suffer from depression also have lower
levels of the antioxidant vitamin E. So, though oil is high in fat and should be
consumed in strict moderation, canola oil is rich in vitamin E. It’s a healthier
alternative for sautéing foods and vegetables.
Dark green vegetables like spinach and peas are high in folate, a key player in
the production of serotonin. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C and
fiber. Fresh is always the best option, as canned versions tend to have lower
nutritional value. Legumes are also high in folate and protein and low in fat, and
are an excellent option for those who are vegetarian or meat-restricted diets.
Chickpeas are rich in fiber, iron, and vitamin E. For a simple snack, combine a
can of drained and rinsed chickpeas with some minced garlic, fresh lemon juice,
and olive or canola oil in your blender or food processor. Add salt, pepper and
other spices as you wish. The resulting hummus makes a healthy and hearty
Chicken and turkey are both rich in vitamin B6, which plays a role in serotonin
production in the body. They are both a good source of selenium and other
vitamins and minerals, too.
And please, if you’ve been dealing with the symptoms of depression for a while,
please contact your doctor to discuss available treatment options and medication
that may be available to you.