It’s no secret that eating certain types of foods over others will lead to an unbalanced diet over time.
Seriously, you can’t live off fast-food, no matter how badly you want to.
I never really had a balanced diet in my life, I am a supertaster that is perhaps a tad too… spoiled, for his own good.
That only got worse in the military, when my depression sunk down so low that I wasn’t eating at all.
Let’s just say that the effects on my health were less than stellar, calling the increase of depressive symptoms severe would not have been an understatement in any way.
But enough of that.
Recently I began looking into all sorts of diets, particularly those who are useful for people who suffer from anxiety and depression.
It should be noted that this is a list for depression, not anxiety, and as such some of the food here won’t do any good to your anxiety.
Heck, some things we consume actually improve on depression while making anxiety worse and vice versa.
That is because depression deals with generally lowered levels of brain activity, while anxiety registers high levels of brain activity.
If you go through both than dealing with your issues becomes slightly more problematic, although easily solvable nonetheless.
With all of my newly-acquired knowledge in mind, I wrote a list of 5 foods that treat depression.
Keep in mind, this isn’t an instant life-changing experience. Balancing your diet will have huge effects, and they will become noticeable very quickly, but your diet isn’t the source of your depression, it merely makes it worse. So if you want to solve your problems I would suggest finding their source and eliminating it.
Right, so without further ado, here’s my list of 5 foods that treat depression and make your lives better!
1) Animal Products
Some of you vegans and vegetarians are going to hate me for this one, but animal products are great for solving depression.
Among other things, like protein, they also contain B-12. For those of you who don’t know, B-12 deficiency is extremely common, and it is very much a real threat for both vegans and vegetarians a like in that sense.
Sure, said people don’t have to eat animal products, they could just take supplements or injections instead, yet this is a list dealing with foods, and the fact is that vegans and vegetarians are more prone to B-12 deficiency than the rest of us omnivores.
I actually wrote an entire article on the topic, feel free to review it if the topic interests you.
Although I can’t recommend milk in good conscience, as it has its own share of problems, you could still try eggs, Liver and the like for some actual, practical results over time.
Despite all the nutritious vitamins meat possesses I actually only bothered to list animal products because B-12 is pretty much everything a vegan diet won’t be able to cover.
There are other alternatives though, so cheer up and let go of your keyboard before lashing out at me for bashing your beliefs or what not.
2) Salmon, and other types of fish.
Before you lash out – I know that I said “animal products” earlier, but bear with me on this one.
For you see, Salmon is a tad bit different.
Salmon, in particular, has many Omega-3 fatty acids in it.
To those of you who don’t know what Omega-3 fatty acids are…
Well, it doesn’t really matter. But research shows that a simple change in the consumption of foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids brought about an increase of up to 50% since the beginning of the experimentation.
Crazy, Right? Well, not really.
These results may vary based on the individual, but the point still stands – Salmon is good for your brain.
To those of you who are vegan or vegetarian, there’s a great alternative.
Walnuts also happen to have a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids in them, and as far as I know, they are much cheaper too.
It’s a great alternative for the depressed!
3) Dark leafy green vegetables
If you were to come to me and ask me for the most nutrition-packed food I good think of the dark leafy greens would rule over that category with an iron fist.
Lettuce, spinach, swiss chard and the like. All of these are amazing and very much effective.
One of the most important things that they do for your depression is regulating your blood pressure and oxygen levels, which is awesome considering that the amount of oxygen that your brain receives is highly relevant to its overall health.
The added benefits to your health are only a plus, of course, since they don’t have much to do with depression (which has a lot to do with oddly specific deficiencies)
4) Foods with lots of amino acids
Although I discussed animal-based foods already, I failed to mention amino acids.
Reasonable, all things considered, as I have done that on purpose.
Because that would take the attention away from the B-12 deficiency issue I have presented.
All that being said, amino acids are awesome for your brain’s health, and by extension for treating your depression.
You see, amino acid glutamine is vitally important for dealing with both anxiety and depression, it also is shown to vastly lower levels of stress by extension.
Sounds awesome? Awesome!
amino acids can particularly be found in lean meat, eggs and dairy. You could also look into seafood, but that’s a much more expensive alternative, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
Either way, low levels of amino acids can affect many different parts of your life and often times go alongside B-12 deficiency, due to how both of them come mainly from animal products.
Unlike B-12 though, if you are vegan (or vegetarian), there are plenty of amino acids/protein sources found in plants.
You guys should look into quinoa and soy products, they contain vast amounts of both protein and amino acids.
5) Foods that are rich in selenium
This one is actually a bit trickier.
You see, research suggests that either having too high amounts of selenium or too little selenium can lead to the same results, and by extension, symptoms.
So before changing anything in regards to your selenium intake, I would highly recommend taking blood tests to make sure where you stand.
That is actually the end of the “tricky part”, so to speak. If you got too much selenium then you are eating too many of these foods, and if you got too little selenium you should be eating more of them.
Simple enough, yes?
Okay, so what are these foods in the first place?
Just to name a few.
Keep in mind, having too much selenium is actually just as bad as having too little of it.
Final thoughts and conclusions
And that’s pretty much it, believe it or not.
As far as I am concerned, the world of nutrition is an ugly place, people make up research here all the time to sell supplements and make profit, everyone seems to have differing opinions about everything, and people are just determined to blast you with lots and lots of trivia information that you will never be able to actually remember.
When doing the research to write this post I found so much different info about Iron, Zinc, Lithium, Vitamin B folic acids and so much more, yet I noticed how no one actually talks about specific foods.
Sure, they might give you a list of them, but then they’ll throw all of this useless data at you.
Here’s a quick example of what I mean.
Not too long ago I searched about tea, and people were saying how great tea is and how you should make it into your number one drink and the like, yet were never willing to discuss specific issues in regards to it.
Tea is actually bad for you if you have anxiety, yet you will never see anyone discuss this willingly in their website.
Being an expert on nutrition these days turned into a trivia contest for random facts, rather than biting into specific issues.
It’s sad but true, so in return, I decided to make you this list.
Sure, it lacks a few categories, yet most of the foods mentioned here cover them as well (some minerals and folic acid, for example).
So instead of letting you search through all of that gritty nonsense, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do it for you.
You can thank me by answering this one quick question: How’s your diet?
Four simple words, that are written as three, and nothing more.
Do me a favor and be sure to drop an answer in the comment section below, I read every single one of them.
In case you would like to discuss anything privately with me, I am always available in my email. Make sure to send me an email an I will reply to you as soon as possible