11 Foods That Help With Depression
Do you sometimes feel robbed of your enthusiasm for life? I used to sulk and whine for no real reason and choke up on the gloominess all the more. Terrible feeling.
Feeling let down, lonely, or sad could be your normal reaction to a bad day at work or home. On the other hand, if the feelings begin to overpower and last longer, and are characterized by physical symptoms, your condition may be chronic.
Depression – All Pressure and No Pleasure
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), almost 40 million grown-ups in the United States are affected by depression.
It is imperative that we are conscious of depression as a chronic condition, and not look at it as having the blues. Look out for those moments where unanticipatedly you are overcome by sadness, guilt, annoyance, and a feeling of hopelessness, because these are what mark the symptoms of depression.
When ignored, the symptoms may worsen and lead to unimaginable suffering and even suicide.
Some of the symptoms of depression as put down by the National Institute of Mental Health include:
- Reduced energy and a feeling of over-tiredness
- Loss of appetite or excessive eating
- Feeling pessimistic in general, about everything
- Restlessness and irritation for no reason
- Wakefulness or excessive sleeping
When these symptoms persist and begin to negatively affect your life, causing issues at work and in your personal life, it’s time to look for help.
Help could be in the form of expensive counseling, medication, meditation, and more counseling and medications, and so on. But there’s another way.
What if I tell you, we can eat to beat depression? Food! Did I say FOOD? Oh, yes. Let’s get you drooling by the end of the article!
How to eat your way out of depression
Struck by curiosity, I once asked a nutritionist friend of mine what exactly comfort foods mean. She told me that what we eat affects our mood. I listened closely since she knows her stuff.
She continued saying, “All foods are comfort foods. I feel better when I eat anything.” Bang! I lost every belief on her philosophical abilities.
In reality, many of us find comfort in eating some food on those days we are feeling bummed out.
Yet, there is a difference in how each food can work as your emotional anesthesia. Randomly feasting on foods that make you feel better is a cheap and unhealthy compromise that gives a momentary reprieve from anxiety.
Down the road, such eating habits will only leave you weighing on the far end of the scale.
The science behind eating and feeling good
Any life event, small or big, can put you under stress. Even the silly squabbles with your partner or a delay in delivering your office reports could become a mental strain.
Ever wondered how small minutiae take such a toll on your mental health? Stress causes blood cortisol levels to rise, and cortisol makes you crave for food.
What’s more, cortisol provokes an enzyme in your fat cells, converting cortisone into more cortisol. Worse, these enzymes are present in abundance in the fat cells around your abdomen than the cells around your thighs.
This is when your physique begins to mimic the shape of the number zero and you are far away from size zero!
Studies by the researchers at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center reveal that women especially, when stressed, crave strongly for carbs, especially the sugary part of it.
This explains why most women under stress tend to accumulate belly fat. So while I am here yapping about comfort food, you better have a good reason for popping that candied toffee into your mouth.
The ACTUAL Feel-Good Foods You Should Eat when Stressed
Doctors forever offer advice on how important it is to eat regularly and to ensure you include some food from each of the food groups in your diet.
Ideally, a healthy diet will be rooted on starchy foods like rice, taken along with a good deal of cereals, fruits and veggies, along with some protein in the form of meat and lentils.
Not to forget the milk and dairy products in limited portions. This diet will ensure your body gets all the nutrition it requires.
There is no exact diet that will completely cure you of your depression, but living on a healthy, balanced, and nutrition-rich diet will help as an overall therapy when you are depressed.
Here are some of the 11 best foods that help with depression: