Depression is a disorder associated with major symptoms such as increased sadness and anxiety, loss of appetite, depressed mood, and a loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Lots of things play a role in getting a person depressed. Most often, it's situational - a loss, a death, a big change in life, social environment, life events, etc. But when it lasts for a very long time, it becomes something more that needs help where the brain doesn't work quite right. Low serotonin levels (the neurotransmitter) are linked to depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue.
People who are depressed find it difficult to function on a daily basis, they have feelings of worthlessness, and they often lack motivation and are prone to insomnia, in many cases. The benefits of medication and therapy are well known, but there’s another important area to consider, your diet. Important nutrients needed to fight with depression are well described below -
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These essential fatty acids are needed to build the brain’s neural connections as well as the receptor sites for neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Research has shown people with depression appear to have lower levels of omega-3.
Eat more - Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Flax-seeds, chia seeds and walnuts are also good sources.
B vitamins are important for nervous system function and the production of energy from food and are considered “anti-stress” nutrients. They help to relieve anxiety and treat depression. Niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9) all work with the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter.
Eat more - Legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, green leafy veggies, eggs, chicken, red meat and milk.
Eat less - Refined grains and processed foods.
Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible to fight depression, is manufactured in the body using the amino acid tryptophan, which must be supplied through the diet. Tryptophan is also needed to produce melatonin, which is vital for getting enough sleep.
Eat more - Lean chicken, turkey, beef, brown rice, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, nuts, bananas, peas, pumpkin, potato, corn and spinach.
Trace minerals like selenium, zinc, magnesium, etc. along with antioxidant-rich foods too play an important role in the development of brain and helps keep depression at bay.
At last I would like to introduce you with the following 5 foods to fight with Depression -
1) Nuts & Seeds: They are a good source of protein and magnesium, which help in the production of serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical.
2) Green Tea: Despite the caffeine, the L-theanine (an amino acid) found in green tea seems to be profoundly relaxing and have a calming effect, up to eight hours.
3) Raw Garlic: Garlic’s anti-oxidant properties play an important role in fighting fatigue-causing free radicals. Garlic contains the highest amount of selenium among foods.
4) Avocados: Aside from being the highest source of tryptophan, avocados are also one of the richest sources of protein, folate, and the heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids.
5) Fatty-Fish: There's a reason why fish is known as "brain food". Fatty fish such as wild salmon contain the omega-3 fatty acid - DHA, which has been shown to increase the membrane quality and nerve function of gray matter in the brain.