Did you know that what you eat may have an effect on your mood? Some medical professionals and natural health experts point to the role of nutrients in fighting depression. According to multiple sources, certain foods contain these vital, depression-fighting nutrients. Here are some of the top depression-fighting foods.
Have you seen L-tryptophan and L-tyrosine supplements in health food stores? Some people supplement with these two amino acids because they are said to boost mood. Your body needs these substances to make the important brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine.
Rather than supplements, which may or may not be absorbed well in your body, experts suggest foods high in these amino acids as a better source. Turkey is one of those foods – it contains L-tryptophan. Other foods with these amino acids include:
- Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
If you can find lean, grass-fed beef, it may be better and more nutritious than corn-fed, factory-raised beef. Why beef for depression? Beef contains B6 and B12, which are extremely important for regulating mood. Other sources of B6 include:
- Garbanzo beans
Have you heard about the benefits of “good fats” in treating and managing depression? There’s a good reason for that – essential fatty acids, the good fats, may play a significant role in regulating mood. Salmon is high in these important fats. It’s also a good source of B12, another mood-booster.
These little bivalves contain that wonderful B12, too. Other foods with this brain-boosting vitamin include:
- Cow’s milk
Oysters and crab also contain an important depression-fighting nutrient: zinc.
You may have heard about how important folate, or folic acid, is for pregnant women and their unborn babies. It may be important for depressed people, too – folate may have a profound effect on important neurotransmitters. Specific beans that have the most folate include:
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
Another note on beans, black beans in particular – they tend to be high in magnesium, an important depression-fighting nutrient. Other foods high in magnesium include:
- Oat bran
Also rich in folate, dark leafy greens and other vegetables contain iron and calcium as well. Greens include:
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
This yummy milk product contains zinc, which is required by the brain to produce anti-anxiety compounds. Other foods with zinc include:
- Turkey (once again!)
- Pumpkin seeds
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are rich in healthy fats and vitamin E. According to various sources, the best nuts for combating depression include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds (these little seeds contain a lot of depression-fighting nutrients!)
- Filberts (Hazelnuts)
In addition to vitamin C, which is necessary to process B12 and iron, tomatoes provide antioxidants and vitamin E. Tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes both provide beneficial nutrients for depression.
Depression can induce carb cravings, which in the modern world means cravings for sugary snacks. But your body is probably trying to tell you something – healthy carbs are said to be a key factor in fighting depression. So give your body what it’s asking for, but in a healthy form. Examples of healthy carbs include:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat
As you look at this list, you might be getting some ideas for meals, combinations, and a shopping list. Think of combining these ingredients to make casseroles, soups, salads, and other tasty dishes.