When depression hits, my world comes spiraling down. I feel numb, with no energy what so ever. Everything is a drag and I don’t like to socialize or even talk to my family. When I go to university its hell, people talking to me when all I want to do is go home and devour a huge bowl of ice-cream and eat unhealthy fast-food. I battle with Dysthymia which is a persistent type of depression. Through my journey of recovery, I learned through lots of reading the types of foods those with depression should eat. If you are like me, an emotional eater it can be even harder to eat the right foods. So, I have created a list of foods you can incorporate in your life to feel better.
Disclaimer: These foods will not take your depression away, but it will help ease your symptoms. Want to know how depression feels? Check out my short depression story: Depression: F*ck Depression – A True Story
- Berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, goji berries & acai berries.
- Citrus fruits – grapefruits, oranges, lime, tangerine & lemons
- Dark leafy greens – spinach, swiss chard & kale
- Lean turkey
- Lean chicken
- Greek yogurt
- Beans – kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans & legumes
- Nuts & Seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Water – you can add fruits to your water as well.
- Tea – green, black, match, hibiscus, oolong & chamomile
- Green smoothies
- Fruit smoothies
- Juice – cranberry & orange
- Herbs / Spices
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil
- Fish oil
- Avocado Oil
- Dark Chocolate
- Gluten free foods
I incorporated all of these foods to my diet, and it has helped boost my mood tremendously. It wasn’t till I started eating better that I realized the damage junk food was doing to me. The reason these foods are great for managing your symptoms is because of what they contain. For instance, berries, citrus, spinach, broccoli and tomato contain antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage in the brain. Protein rich foods have amino acids that aid in creating serotonin. Fish, nuts, and leafy vegetables have omega-3. This helps to decrease depression.
STAY AWAY FROM THESE FOODS & BEVERAGES:
- Refined sugars
- Fast foods
- Trans fat
- Fried food
- Processed food – white bread
- Artificial sweeteners
- Foods high on sodium
The reason you should stay away from these foods is because they will make your depressive symptoms worse. For instance, alcohol is associated with increased depression by lowering serotonin levels. Caffeine also lowers serotonin and affects your sleep schedule. Not only that, but processed and fast foods messes with your blood sugar making you feel even more fatigued. Sugar is poison for you because it not only makes you depressed, but it provokes irritability, insomnia, poor concentration, and memory loss.
Try to incorporate these foods in your daily diet, there are many delicious recipes that can be created with this list. If you don’t like to eat vegetables, then try veggie smoothie mixed with fruits. Just because processed and fast foods are bad it doesn’t mean you have to stay away from them forever. It’s all in moderation. Happy eating!
Dr. Axe. (2017). Top 10 High Antioxidant Foods. Retrieved from: https://store.draxe.com/
WebMD. (2017). Depression and Diet. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/diet-recovery#1