Foods That May Help You Manage Depression
Not only does a healthy diet help control your waistline, but smarter food choices may also help ward off symptoms of depression. The best nutritional plan to prevent depression is likely to be a varied diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. While you increase these healthy foods, cut down on the processed and prepackaged foods you eat, according to dietary recommendations for depression published in August 2015 in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.
“Eating several servings of fruits and veggies daily, along with whole grains, lean meats, and occasional treats is the best way to support good mental and physical health throughout life,” says Felice Jacka, PhD, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) and the Australian Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders. Dr. Jacka’s research into the relationship between diet and depression has pointed to the importance of healthy foods and a varied diet to boost mood. “The way that food interacts in our bodies to support or reduce health is highly complex,” she says. “This is why reducing the focus to single nutrients or food components is of limited value.”
Along with a prescribed treatment plan, certain foods may help manage depression by providing a variety of important nutrients. Start by putting these 10 foods on your menu.
Jacka recommends consuming fresh nuts on a daily basis. Nuts are healthy foods densely packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats — just keep track of calories, which can add up quickly. Try to get about 1 ounce a day of mixed nuts, including walnuts and almonds. Munch on nuts containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts and almonds, for the greatest long-term benefits.