Foods for depression are just one
alternative of many for relieving the symptoms of. It is also a symptom of depression and on a couple of
levels, whether that be eating too much, or too little. It can trigger endorphins,
giving you a feeling a euphoria, or the other end of the spectrum…a sense of
control; leading to anorexia/bulimia. But here, we’re focusing on the benefits
of foods for depression in the sense of using it to “heal.”
We live in a society that treats food in a manner that far exceeds what it’s been intended. Living to eat, bonding with friends and family, celebrating or rewarding ourselves, every chance we can. There’s nothing wrong with that so long as it’s not abused or out of control. But using it in an unhealthy way, to suppress feelings, is never a good thing.
The truth is, certain foods can help relieve stress. You just need to know which ones to choose. I don’t like being the bad guy…but you won’t find cakes or other unhealthy carbs on this list, I’m sorry!
Also, there are foods that suppress cortisol in your body. Because cortisol is the hormone that is released when you’re under a lot of stress, it’s important to eat foods that naturally suppress this chemical. Especially if you know you’re going to be facing a stressful situation.
Note: Cortisol is a chemical your brain produces that stimulates the “fight or flight” response. This response is necessary when you are in danger, but NOT when you’re arguing with your mate/children or in a meeting with your boss. Learning to determine “when” to control your body’s natural tendencies will greatly enhance your positive mental health.
Chronic cortisol can damage your body at a cellular level. Choose foods that keep it under control; like nuts, for instance! It doesn’t take many, just a handful of nuts allow the magnesium to keep cortisol levels under control.
Do you think your blood pressure spikes when you’re stressed out? It probably does. If this is a danger to you, or you want to feel calmer, reach for a food high in potassium like a banana or an avocado.
Asparagus, which is rich in folic acid, helps boost your mood, which also combats stress as does broccoli. In most all instances…raw is best. When vegetables are cooked – most all of the nutrients are lost.
Sugary foods combat stress, too. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? But moderation is KEY; and for more reasons than one. Just a dab on your tongue should do the trick. And choose a fruit-filled sorbet with natural sugars instead of full fat ice cream.
Stress can take a huge and even profound toll on your body as you’ve probably already seen from reading my story and during the most stressful times in my life. My neurological system literally went haywire. I was dystonic and the essential tremors so severe; I’d often had to walk with the assistance of a cane.
And with cortisol coursing through your veins, your cells have a hard time repairing what goes wrong. That’s why your immune system takes a hit when you’re stressed. That being said; foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, like blueberries, can help you feel calm and healthier during stressful times.
Are you the type of person who goes on full alert when you’re stressed? If your adrenaline takes off, opt for an oily, omega-3 filled fish to help soothe your mood, salmon for example; or an omeg-3 fish oil supplement.
We mentioned cakes and fatty carbs initially. Carbs can help keep you calm by boosting serotonin levels, but choose whole grain options instead. Complex carbs won’t allow you to crash like the others do.
The List Of Foods Best Consumed To Help Combat The Stress That Leads To Depression Are As Follows:
Lower Cortisol: Cashews | Oatmeal | Avocado | Asparagus | Broccoli | Chocolate | Green Tea | Berries | Oysters
Foods Rich in Antioxidants and Vitamin C: Blueberries | Strawberries - Just one serving contains about half of your daily vitamin C needs
Acerola Cherries: They contain about 65x the amount of vitamin C than an orange
Citrus Fruits: Oranges | Grapefruit | Lemon | Limes: Just one medium orange contains a whopping 70mg of vitamin C. A small glass of OJ has up to 93mg of vitamin C, and a small glass of grapefruit juice has up to 70 mg of vitamin C
Papayas: One serving contains 100% of your daily needs
Black Currant: Contains around 180mg per serving
Bell Peppers: One 1/2 cup of raw red peppers contains over 140 mg of vitamin C
Guava: One Guava containing over 250 mg. Over twice your daily needs!
Brussels Sprouts: One serving of cooked Brussels sprouts has almost 50 mg of vitamin C
Dark Leafy Greens: Kale | Mustard Greens | Turnip Greens | Watercress | Chard | Spinach: Are all great vitamin C foods. While they all provide different amounts of this essential nutrient, they are all very healthy for you. Kale would be the best choice, as it may have up to 130 mg of vitamin C in one serving
Broccoli: One serving has over 90 mg of Vitamin C
Melons: Just one serving of watermelon will give you 112% of your daily needs
Cantaloupe: Just one cup will provide you with approximately 67 mg of vitamin C
Cauliflower: Just one cup contains 46 mg of vitamin C
Tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes are particularly concentrated in this essential nutrient. Just one serving provides 100 mg of vitamin C. That’s 170% of our daily needs
Cilantro | Chives | Thyme | Basil | Parsley: Buy fresh. Just one cup of fresh parsley has over 130 mg of Vitamin C. And thyme, 160 mg in one cup
Omega-3 Filled Fish and Foods Containing Whole Grain Carbs
All the foods on this cheat sheet are great for relieving stress. HOWEVER, some are more effective than others in specific areas.
For example; many foods will help lower levels of 'cortisol', but none more than those I've listed under it's category!
Also, the category "If you're prone to or have an existing condition" includes; "high blood pressure" and/or "weak immune system." These foods are the highest in the vitamin "C."