Our food choices do not just affect our physical health – they affect our mental health as well. Certain foods can give us more energy, elevate our moods, and improve our mental focus. Smart Cooky from NDTV discusses seven foods that help manage depression and combat mood swings.
- Complex carbs
Complex carbs are healthier for us in a variety of ways. One major way that they are better than simple carbs is that they help fight depression symptoms. Studies show that it is better to eat complex carbs than to remove carbs from your diet. According to studies, people who do not eat many carbs are more likely to experience negative symptoms like anxiety, depression, and lethargy.
Rather than drastically reducing carbs, try to focus on eating complex carbs, instead. Some suggestions include whole grains, brown rice, and vegetables.
- Vitamin D
Many studies show that spending more time outside and being in the sunshine is good for mental health, so it makes sense that Vitamin D in general can help manage depression and mood swings. According to research, there is a link between depression and low Vitamin D levels. Increase the Vitamin D levels in your diet by eating more fatty fish, tuna, mushrooms, orange juice, and eggs.
- Drink more water and fluids
Hydration is critical to overall health and mental awareness.
Dr. Mukta Vasishta, Chief Dietician of Gangram Hospital, said: “Have a balanced diet and include more fluids like green tear, buttermilk, Nimbu Paani, and even milk. Milk has a soothing effect on the brain. You can make a quick banana and milk smoothie to overcome morning moodiness. Both induce a feeling of calm.”
- Vitamin B Complex and fats
Foods with the right type of fat are critical to keeping depression at bay. In particular, foods with Vitamin B are helpful because they keep our energy levels up.
Increase healthy fats and Vitamin B in your diet by adding avocado, chickpeas, dark chocolate, and nuts.
- Antioxidants from berries and green veggies
Antioxidants help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by helping our cells function properly. By keeping our cells healthy, antioxidants reduce oxidative stress on the brain. Incorporate more berries, like cherries and grapes, and dark vegetables to increase your antioxidant intake.
- Carotene rich foods
Carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A. This means that when we ingest carotene, our body converts it into Vitamin A. This vitamin is beneficial to our skin, immune system, and eyesight. Foods that have an orange-red hue – like carrots, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes – are high in carotene.
- Protein rich foods
Protein can increase mental alertness and the brain chemical serotonin, which is a mood booster. If you’re a vegetarian, increase your protein by eating peas, beans, soya, lentils, and paneer. If you do eat meat, eat lean meat and eggs.