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7 Types of Food That May Help With Depression

What you put in your body affects how you feel — and it may even affect your depression.

Depression is a mental illness that can affect men, women, and children around the world. Severity and treatment vary, but it is still a mental illness that needs to be treated by a doctor. However, research has shown that food, or your diet, can also affect your mood, and therefore, depression.

Foods to Avoid

  • Alcohol should only be consumed in limited quantities. However, it does depend on medications as well, so talk to your pharmacist if you are on any anti-depressants or other medication.
  • Caffeine can actually lower the serotonin levels in your body and increase your risk of anxiety, depression and poor sleep. If you do drink caffeinated beverages, avoid sweetening them.
  • High calorie, low-nutrient food is convenient, but not the best for you if you have depression. These foods can contain high amounts of sugar that can cause energy surges and crashes. They can also be high in fat and sodium.
  • High-fat dairy, red and processed meats, sweets and refined grains are associated with a higher risk of depression.
What Should You Eat
  • Chickpeas contain tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin. Consume chickpeas as part of your diet to improve your mental health.
  • Consume foods that contain B12 and folate: spinach, lentils, almonds, liver, chicken, and fish.
  • Include cod, Brazil nuts, poultry and walnuts that contain selenium.
  • Vitamin D rich foods are also important: breakfast cereals, breads, juices, and milk. Exposure to the sun can also improve your vitamin D levels.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: cod, haddock, salmon, halibut, nut oils, and algae.
  • Diets that are high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy, and antioxidants are associated with lower risk of depression.
  • Dark chocolate can enhance your mood by the releasing endorphins in your body.
Speak with your doctor about your diet and how it might be affecting your depression and your health as a whole.
[Image via Shutterstock]

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