Foods for anxiety and depression really do have the power to help you deal with both these conditions. The influence of diet on anxiety disorders is a scientifically proven fact, and studies indicate that depression can be either caused or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet is essential to reduce the risk of emotional and psychological problems.
The reason why foods and supplements for anxiety, depression, and other similar problems work is simple. Those conditions are manifestations of physiological problems. Everyone knows and understands that not getting enough nutrients can cause physical problems. For example, calcium deficiency leads to brittle bones.
The connection between psychological, emotional, and neurological issues and diet is the same. Of course, those problems usually have an external aggravating factor or a trigger, such as trauma. However, it’s only one element of the greater problem, and physiology is an inseparable part of it.
Therefore, if anxiety and depression cause physical manifestations in your body, consuming special foods and supplements to manage these ‘symptoms’ can have a positive effect on the patient’s overall condition.
Top 4 Foods for Anxiety and Depression:
- Fatty fish.
All kinds of fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are a must-have ingredient for any diet that aims to help combat psychological and neurological issues. They help you normalize the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, which is essential for improving general wellbeing. However, most importantly, omega 3 fatty acids help the body transmit neurological impulses. As the traditional American diet has a tremendous excess of omega 6, the more omega 3 you consume, the better. If you can’t eat at least one serving of fatty fish every day, you can try taking a specialized supplement, like Omega3 EPA/DHA.
- Whole grains.
Not-processed whole grains are great for your health in general as a source of good carbs. They sate your hunger, boost your energy levels, stabilize metabolism due to dietary fiber, and help improve your mood. The latter is the reason why whole grains are counted as foods for anxiety and depression. Their ability to influence one’s mental state is caused by tryptophan. Our bodies turn this element into serotonin, the hormone of happiness. The effect on the energy levels is also quite beneficial for fighting anxiety, in particular, as hunger and physical weakness aggravate this condition.
All berries are rich in antioxidants, which help you reduce the damage of stress. Anxiety and depression are both conditions induced or greatly worsened by chronic stress, so antioxidant-rich foods are your best defense. Blueberries and cranberries are particularly beneficial because they have the highest content of these phytonutrients.
- Pure dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate without sugar and milk is one of the best sources of antioxidants. This food also stimulates the production of endorphins, so it literally makes you feel happier. This benefits both anxiety and depression, but it only works if your chocolate has the barest minimum of sugar, or none at all. This product also reduces the levels of ‘stress hormone’ cortisol.
Supplements for Anxiety and Depression
Eating foods for anxiety and depression regularly may not be enough to help you combat these issues. In this case, supplements can give the extra boost you need to get better. However, don’t’ forget to consult your health care provider before taking them and make sure that the product you choose complements your diet and therapy program.
Aside from Omega 3, the best supplements for anxiety and depression are:
5-HTP stands for 5-hydroxy tryptophan, which is the element that your body processes and turns into serotonin. This particular type of tryptophan is easy to digest, so the supplement has a much better effect than whole grains.
Folic Acid 800mcg.
Folic acid is a synthetic variety of folate, a B vitamin that is essential for maintaining the healthy function of the neurotransmitters.