Depression ranges in experiencing mild sadness for a brief period of time to more serious feelings and actions that involve a diminished appetite, complete social withdrawal and in severe cases, the deliberate ending of one’s life.(1)
In fact, it’s estimated that annually, about 34,000 people commit suicide and that by the year 2030, such acts will be more common than cancer, accidents, war and stroke as the world’s leading cause of death and disability.(2)
Julie Cerel, a psychologist and board chair of American Association of Suicidology, says of depressed people, “They get so consumed by the depression and by the feelings of not being worthy that they forget all the wonderful things in their lives.”(2)
Clearly, depression is a very real condition meant to be addressed. While it can easily spiral out of control and the dynamics behind it can be complicated and are obviously unique for each individual’s situation, there are natural ways to help manage a low mood.
4 Foods that help fight depression naturally
Rather than rely on prescribed drugs that come with a slew of potentially dangerous side effects to combat depression, consider adding curcumin, the main polyphenol in turmeric, to more foods. It’s been found to be just as effective as Prozac, but without the suicidal thoughts, changes in heart rate, weight gain and other side effects that have been linked to the drug.(3)
Curcumin can be added as a spice to many meals and smoothies and also enjoyed in teas.
Eating bananas is also beneficial in helping those needing to improve their mood. They contain melatonin which regulates sleep and works to restores balance in depressed individuals.(4) The tasty fruit also has amino acids that are used by the brain to control mood; eating them more often can help foster a happier mood.(4)
Cacao, a healthy chocolate that’s free of the added, unhealthy ingredients often found in traditional snack aisle chocolate bars, is also a mood booster. Research has linked cacao with the ability to boost feel-good brain chemicals and in turn, diminish feelings of sadness and depression.(4)
Consumption of nuts can also improve mood as their high omega-3 fatty acid content has been shown to reduce anxiety, a common feeling that people in a depressed state struggle with.(4) Walnuts and pecans are particularly high in these healthy fats.
Eating more of these foods are great ways to help overall health, and their added ability to naturally regulate mood is especially beneficial for those struggling with depression.
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