Each year, million people all over the world have to suffer from depression and anxiety. Using medicines for treatment may be effective but it just be temporary and may have many harmful side effects. The best way to stop depression and anxiety is changing your lifestyle as well as eating healthy. Keep reading this article to know what foods for depression and anxiety that we should or shouldn’t eat.
List Of Foods For Depression And Anxiety
Nowadays, depression and anxiety are among the most common mental illnesses in all regions of the world. According to a study by the World Health Organization, more than 350 million people have been suffering from depression and anxiety globally. In the U.S., the National Alliance on Mental Illness showed that approximately 15 million people have been suffering from depression annually. The Anxiety Disorder Association of America also estimated that anxiety disorders affect about 40 million people each year. There are many factors that can cause depression and anxiety, including foods. In fact, it has been shown that foods are closely link to depression and anxiety. In other words, some foods may help to fight depression and anxiety while other certain types of food can cause these mental illnesses. That is the reason why today I want to share with you the list of good and bad foods for depression and anxiety. I hope that this article will help you decide what kinds of food to add to your diet and what foods you should avoid to keep your mind and your body healthy.
I. Good Foods To Eat:
Chocolate is mentioned in this list of good foods for depression and anxiety because it can help you boost your mood. Just one small piece of dark chocolate can help to release calm-inducing hormone serotonin that relaxes the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system. That's the reason why dark chocolate appears in most heart-healthy food lists. According to a study from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, eating chocolate in moderation actually makes you feel better. Further, dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, calming down your feeling.
Oatmeal is another food for depression and anxiety that can help produce serotonin which helps you overcome stress, depression and anxiety by creating a soothing feeling. Oatmeal is also high in soluble fiber, so they take longer to digest, meaning their calming effect will last longer.
You may be surprised to learn that after eating Thanksgiving dinner, sleepy feeling you get is due to turkey. Most lean sources of protein are good foods for depression and anxiety, but turkey has higher level of the amino acid called tryptophan. It is believe that tryptophan can have positive effects on depression and anxiety by causing the brain to produce serotonin, a natural feel-good chemical which stimulates calmness and even tiredness.
Spinach is a great source of magnesium which helps you regulate cortisol levels, contributing to the feelings of wellbeing. You can have a salad with spinach, or add it into your sandwich. You also can consume spinach with your morning eggs or drop a handful of leaves into your soup.
No food source is better than salmon when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are proven to fight depression and anxiety as they help to keep adrenaline and cortisol from spiking when you're feeling anxious.
Salmon is not only among good foods for depression and anxiety but also good for your overall health as well. Salmon helps to reduce inflammation and improve your circulation, lowering the risk of heart disease. Consuming 4 ounces at least three times a week goes a long way toward protecting your heart when those stress hormones are surging.
The reason making oranges as one of foods for depression and anxiety is the plenty of vitamin C in oranges. This vitamin helps you lower blood pressure and reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Simply eat a whole orange or drink a glass of orange juice to get a quick burst of vitamin C.
Cashews are the favorite snack with high zinc content which is good for your mood. The deficiency of zinc in your body has been linked to both depression and anxiety. A 1-ounce serving of cashews provides 11 percent of zinc of your recommended dietary allowance.
As a great source of vitamins B2 and E, almonds are also mentioned in this list of good foods for depression and anxiety. Almonds help relieve stress by boosting your immune system during stress times. It is recommended that consuming a quarter cup of almonds every day can help in depression treatment.
Besides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and protein, walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can help to lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Plus, alpha-linolenic acid and other polyphenols in walnuts help you prevent memory loss.
Like oranges, berries such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are rich in vitamin C, which is proven to effectively combat depression and anxiety. German researchers conducted a study in 120 people by asking them to give a speech, and then do hard math problems. The results showed that people who had been provided vitamin C had lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure after the stress test. These good foods for depression and anxiety also have high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant which can help protect and repair cells when you are stressed.
II. Bad Foods To Avoid:
Spices such as chili powder and cayenne pepper contain salicylates which boost the metabolism. As a result, you may feel edgy, the feeling that can cause anxiety.
Many people like sweets and think that it can make them feel better, however it's a temporary feeling. In fact, sugar is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, resulting in an initial surge of energy. But that surge wears off when your body increases the production of insulin to flush the sugar out of your bloodstream. That makes you feel tired and low.
– Sugar: Consume too much sugar will deprive the body of highly essential nutrients, leading to anxiety.
– Artificial sweeteners: artificial sweeteners are really bad foods for depression and anxiety as artificial sweeteners cause headaches, mood dips and insomnia by blocking the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
3. Processed Foods
These refined or processed foods such as pre-packaged dehydrated foods, canned food and fast food have plenty of saturated fat, artificial flavors and preservatives which will put stress on your body. These bad foods for depression and anxiety are also high in sodium which can have harmful effects on your liver and colon, leading to fatigue, irritation and blue.
Potassium is a needed mineral to keep the nervous system function properly. Unfortunately, salt reduces the amount of potassium in your body. Moreover, it puts stress on your system by increasing blood pressure, causing anxiety.
Some foods high in sodium like fat-free foods are also the bad foods for depression and anxiety. That's because the excess sodium in these foods can interrupt your neurological system and blunder your immune system response, resulting in fatigue and depression.
5. Low-Fat Dairy Foods
Consuming too much low-fat dairy foods may cause an excess of calcium, which reduces the magnesium levels. The magnesium deficiency can cause both physical and emotional stress by releasing stress hormone called adrenaline.
Caffeine is well-known as a stimulant that can boost the energy levels, but it is among bad foods for depression and anxiety. Caffeine can increase the adrenaline in your system, leading to the “fight or flight” defense mechanism which causes anxiety and panic. In addition, highly caffeinated foods and drinks can keep you awake, or in other words, you can have insomnia. Remember that your body needs to sleep well to recover from a long day and keep you in a positive mood, but insomnia means that you cannot rest enough, resulting in stress, depression and anxiety over a long period of time.
When having stress, depression and anxiety, some people tend to drink alcohol because they think that it can ease their problems. In fact, alcohol is not only unhelpful but also one of the bad foods for depression and anxiety. Drinking alcohol may give you the good mood in temporary but in the long run, alcohol is really a depressant. Through the senses, your central nervous system takes the information, analyses and processes to control your motor function, understanding, thinking, reasoning as well as emotion. Alcohol slows all these processes down, make the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety worse. Just drink in moderation.
What you put into your body actually has direct effects on depression and anxiety. This list of 10 good and 7 bad foods for depression and anxiety will help you choose the right foods to eat to relieve your stress as well as identify what foods contributing to depression and anxiety that you should avoid. With my personal experience and studies for a long time in this field, I am glad to share them with anyone who desires to design the healthy diet to get rid of depression and anxiety, improve mood and get better health and life.
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