Many people refer to depression as the feeling of extreme sadness, hopelessness and dejection. But as we dig deeper, we can see that depression is actually more than a feeling of grief, for it has actually blown up to become a brain disorder that needs to be treated through proper medication and counseling. This is an extreme situation that nobody wants to be in at any point in his or her life.

Nutrient dense food is vital to fight depression

Fortunately, there are tons of natural antidepressant foods to eat every day that are easily accessible in the market.

The pressures and stress of modern living have put us in a situation where depression is not a remote possibility. This is one of the reasons why experts are working to combat it naturally with foods that help to nourish the brain. Eating healthy food like fruits and vegetables will not only help to mitigate depression but also keep your immune system strong.

Here are some nutrient-dense foods that help to combat depression:

1. Cold-Water Fish

Tired of eating processed foods and other unhealthy meals to ease your cravings? If that’s the case then cold water fish is perfect for you.

By eating cold-water fish regularly, you can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can lead to improved mental well-being. In addition, it has been found that the consumption of cold-water fish may even reduce the risk of developing depression in some individuals. 

How is this possible? Well, the secret behind its benefit lies within its nutritional value.

Cold-water fish, like salmon and tuna, are known to possess antidepressant properties. This is due primarily to their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and the presence of essential vitamins and minerals.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help regulate mood and reduce depression symptoms, while vitamins B12 and D have been found to be beneficial for mental health. Cold-water fish also contain certain amino acids that help maintain brain function and improve overall cognitive performance.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a natural way to boost your mental health, adding cold-water fish to your diet paired with leafy greens is definitely worth considering.

2. Dark Chocolate

It is definitely no question that everyone loves to eat chocolate. No matter what occasion, it is the perfect gift for anyone regardless of their age.

But what makes it even better is its positive effects on people with depression.

Dark chocolate has been known to have antidepressant properties and is thought to be due to its high levels of flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body, which can improve mood.

Studies have shown that dark chocolate can reduce stress hormones as well as inflammation-causing cytokines, which could lead to an improved mood. The serotonin levels in dark chocolate are also thought to be beneficial for helping regulate moods.

dark chocolate consumption can reduce  stress levels to improve mood

What’s more interesting about this food is that it also contains a chemical used for treating depression called phenylethylamine. This chemical is associated to improve mood and alleviate stress levels. Aside from its ability to fight depression, dark chocolate also contains antioxidant properties which help to protect the body from cardiovascular diseases and some degenerative diseases.

Additionally, dark chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine and theobromine, both of which can provide an energy boost and help people feel more alert. It is also a good source of magnesium and zinc, two minerals are known to have calming effects on the body. All of these benefits combined make dark chocolate a great snack for those looking for a natural way to lift their mood.

3. Green Tea

Green tea is an incredibly popular beverage around the world, and for good reason. Not only does it have a pleasant taste, but it also has some amazing health benefits. One of these benefits is its ability to help enhance mental health and reduce symptoms of depression.

A study found that green tea contains compounds that can increase levels of serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters known to be associated with a happier mood. Additionally, green tea can help reduce stress hormones like cortisol, which is often linked to feelings of anxiety and depression.

Regular green tea consumption can help to reduce the risk of depression, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A study conducted by the journal on elderly participants in Japan found that the subjects who regularly drank green tea showed lesser depressive symptoms than those who did not drink green tea.

Drinking green tea on a regular basis may help you feel calmer and more relaxed so that you can better manage your moods. It’s important to note that green tea should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment if needed. However, adding it to your daily routine may promote better overall mental well-being in the long run.

4. Whole Grains

Whole grains have been known to have antidepressant properties and are packed with nutrients that improve your emotional state. Essentially, eating whole foods can help improve your overall brain health and prevent depression. 

Whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice are excellent sources of magnesium which help to prevent depression. It can serve as a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, and fiber which all contribute to the production of serotonin – the brain’s primary neurotransmitter responsible for creating positive feelings, emotions and moods.

Whole grains can normalize cortisol levels to help you stay emotionally balanced

Moreover, consuming this food can also help reduce levels of cortisol – the hormone responsible for stress and anxiety. As a result, this kind of healthy food can help you become more emotionally balanced and relaxed, as well as provide essential nutrients that keep your body healthy.

Eating whole grains is an easy way to get important vitamins and minerals in your diet that can make a big difference in terms of improving mental health.

5. Walnuts

Aside from cold water fish, walnuts are also excellent sources of omega-3, a known brain booster and depression reliever. Walnuts are also beneficial to your overall health because they help to reduce bad cholesterol which accumulates in the arteries and becomes a cause of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

Walnuts are a healthy snack that is full of nutrients, and they may also have antidepressant properties. Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation in the brain, which can lead to depression.

Additionally, walnuts contain zinc, magnesium and tryptophan, all of which can help improve mood. Studies have found that consuming walnuts on a regular basis may help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, walnuts can be eaten as a snack or added to meals to provide a boost of energy and nutrition.

Eating walnuts regularly is thought to help reduce stress hormones in the body and promote better overall mental health. With its many benefits for mental health and its delicious taste, adding walnuts to your diet is an easy way to get a nutritional boost while helping keep your mind healthy and happy.

Are the 5 Foods that Help to Combat Depression also considered Superfoods?

Yes, the 5 foods that help to combat depression can also be considered superfoods for fighting depression. Incorporating salmon, dark chocolate, spinach, Greek yogurt, and blueberries into your diet can provide essential nutrients and antioxidants that may help improve mood and overall mental well-being.

Can Plant Foods Supply All the Antidepressant Nutrients?

Plants can provide all of the essential nutrients needed to combat depression. Plant-based foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential to maintaining a healthy mental state.

For example, omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts and flaxseed can help reduce inflammation associated with depression. Additionally, plant foods such as kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts contain high levels of folate which helps improve serotonin levels.

Furthermore, dark chocolate contains polyphenols which increase dopamine levels in the brain and can lead to improved moods.

antioxidant rich berries can help reduce stress and anxiety

And finally, berries such as blueberries are rich in antioxidants which help reduce stress and anxiety. All of these plant-based foods provide ample amounts of antidepressant nutrients that can help manage depression symptoms.

These are some of the foods that help to improve your mood, protect you from depression and reward you with good physical and mental health. You should include these foods in your diet to stay healthy and alert. Just remember that these are not intended to replace the recommendations of health professionals. For more healthy food tips, check out our food and mind boosters blog posts.