Depression occurs in 7% of the general older population. There are many things that cause depression, but there are also things you can do to fight back. Here’s a list of foods that fight depression that you’ll find in any supermarket. And the good news is that you’re probably eating some of them already! At the end of the list, we’ll talk about the goodies that you can indulge in.
Chicken, Turkey and Soybeans
These sources of protein contain the building-block tryptophan. Your body uses this to make serotonin. Researchers say that serotonin is a brain chemical that plays a key role in depression. Some antidepressant drugs work by targeting the way your brain uses serotonin.
Seafood like salmon, tuna and herring and tuna are high in polyunsaturated fats. Researchers think those can help you fight depression. One type of these fats are called omega-3 fatty acids. These help brain cells use chemicals that can affect your mood. Don’t care for fish? You can find omega-3s in nuts, avocados, and olive oil. Here’s an added plus: omega-3s are good for your heart.
These nuts are rich in selenium. Just one Brazil nut has almost half your daily requirement of the mineral, so you won’t want to eat more than one or two a day. Selenium helps protect your body from damaging particles called free radicals. Other foods that contain selenium are brown rice, lean beef, and sunflower seeds.
Leafy greens like watercress, spinach, mustard greens, lettuce, and swiss chard are full of folate. This is a water-soluble B vitamin. Your brain cells use folate to work well. It may also help protect against depression. You can find folate in lentils, lima beans, and asparagus. It is also sometimes added to enriched grains like pasta and rice.
Carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and cantaloupes all get their orange hue from carotenoids, a type of antioxidant. Here’s why anti-oxidants are important: Our bodies normally make molecules called free radicals. These free radicals can lead to cell damage, aging, and other problems. When you eat foods that contain anti-oxidants, you decrease the damage that these free-radicals make. On top of that, studies show that carotenoids may lower levels of depression. So you may want to up your intake of vegetables to help ward off depression. Team up your carrots with onions. These flavorful vegetables also contain antioxidants.
You can keep your morning cup of coffee. In fact, it may even be good for you. The caffeine in coffee, can make you feel more awake and motivated. And it may even lower your risk of getting depression.
Cocoa beans contain flavonoids. These are powerful antioxidants. They can improve your mood. But stick to dark chocolate and avoid the milk chocolate. Tea, citrus fruits, and blueberries also contain antioxidants.