Depression can affect your appetite, and it can differ from person to person. Some people will not want to eat anything. For others, depression can boost appetite. Depression eating is a real phenomenon, after all.
If you are depressed, there are some foods you should have handy to combat it. In this post, we will look at some foods that can help. But first, let’s look at foods that you should avoid.
Foods to Avoid During Depression
It may be tempting to reach for some chocolate cake when you’re depressed, but sugars can make you crash, and you may feel guilty about it afterward.
Sugar that comes from natural sources, such as fruit, does not need to be avoided, though.
With that said, having a treat on occasion could cheer you up. Just don’t make it a habit. Some people treat themselves every day, which can lead to weight gain and increased depression.
2) Excessive Alcohol
Avoid drinking too much booze. Alcohol is what is known as a depressant, and it can make your problems worse. However, a glass of wine on occasion will not hurt. It may help to calm the nerves.
With that said, if you are drinking a lot, try cutting back. You don’t need to drink all the time to get through life. There are other ways to manage yourself.
3) Too Much Caffeine
A couple of cups of coffee daily can help you immensely, but the same cannot be said if you chug it. This can lead to you crashing later on.
Some amounts of caffeine can boost your mental health, but many of us over caffeinate. To avoid this, try cutting back and getting your energy through other sources, such as working out, drinking more water, and getting more sleep.
4) Anything Processed or Fried
In addition, avoid processed or fried foods if you can. These foods tend to be deprived of nutrition, which can be troublesome for your mental health. Eating whole foods can help.
For more information, you can also check our article about bad brain foods.
Foods to Eat During Depression
Eating beans may help to improve your fiber and protein levels, which can cause blood sugar to stabilize. This is essential when you are trying to keep your mood in check.
All beans are good, but some are better. For example, chickpeas contain lots of folates, which help your body make blood cells.
2) Fatty Fish
Fish are a source of omega-3s, which can improve brain health and boost serotonin levels. For the best results, look for fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout, or non-canned tuna. Avoid frying it, and instead, bake or broil it.
Different types of seeds, including chia and flax seeds, can give you omega-3s and help improve your mood. One way it does this is by giving you tryptophan, which can provide you with serotonin.
Most seeds do provide you with some benefits. Whether you are eating sunflower, pumpkin, or another type of seed, you can get some benefits.
Speaking of tryptophan, you may know it from turkey.
It’s also in chicken, but turkey is more well-known for its tryptophan. You may also know turkey or make you sleepy, which can help if you have sleep issues due to depression.
Eating more veggies can help with your depression as well. Veggies are packed with folate, fiber, and other nutrients that may help fight depression. Vegetables can also curb cravings for sugar.
Here’s one that you may not know about. Walnuts have a high source of omega-3 and are also known for their protein.
Some studies also back up that they can fight depression. If you have a quarter cup of walnuts daily, it can lower your depression. This is, of course, when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
You Can’t Out-Eat Severe Depression
While these foods may help fight against depression, along with a healthy lifestyle, severe depression is not treatable by changing your diet alone.
It can be treated by talking to a therapist or counselor. They can help you with your depression by eliminating the root cause.
Besides therapy, medication can help you manage your symptoms and make depressive episodes more bearable.
Diagnosis is Key
If you are unsure if you have depression or perhaps another mental health diagnosis, you can find out through an assessment.