Depression is a mental illness that affects over 3 million Americans every year. While many people feel a mild form of depression after a significant event, such as the loss of a loved one; clinical depression has more intense emotions and can be far more severe. Symptoms of depression can vary amongst individuals; but some of the more common symptoms include long-term or persistent sadness, a sense of hopelessness, and a feeling that the world would be better off without them.
Depression can be treated a variety of ways but usually includes a combination of things including therapy, prescribed medication, and self care:
1. Feel better with fiber
One way a person who is suffering with depression can help themselves is to maintain a healthy exercise and diet plan. A depression diet should include mood-stabilizing foods that are high in fiber. Whole grain foods such as oatmeal, almonds, and brown rice provide plenty of magnesium. Magnesium can help the body battle anxiety and insomnia, common ailments that accompany depression. Foods that are high in fiber and magnesium can help lay a foundation for a stress free and bright disposition.
2. Indulge in dark chocolate
Chocolate is a long time favorite go to for a pick-me-up if one is feeling down or stressed. When reaching for the rich and aromatic snack to elevate your mood, opt for dark chocolate instead of milk. Although too much sugar can have a negative effect on depression symptoms, dark chocolate can provide more benefits that improving the heart. The cocoa contains phenylethylamine, which is highly recommended to fight off symptoms and stress and depression as it can elevate moods and stimulate the brain.
3. Make it green, please
A nice hot cup of tea is always a great way to relax and unwind. If battling depression, try a cup of green tea instead. Green tea contains L-theanine, which naturally helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
4. Bring on the fatty acid
Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon or tuna can help those suffering with symptoms of depression. Anti-inflammatory foods that contain omega-3 help to break down gluten in the body, which causes inflammation a symptom that has been known to lead to feelings of sadness.
5. No more coffee and donuts
Although a cup of coffee and a nice sweet donut sound pleasing, caffeine and excessive sugar can actually enhance depression symptoms. Doctors believe that the destruction that caffeine plays on sleep patterns directly affects a person’s depression. In addition, sugary foods elevate glucose but drop protein levels causing your brain to function below its optimal level and creating greater chances of depression to set in a person’s mind.
6. Don’t be refined
Anyone who is dealing with depression should avoid refined carbohydrates altogether. Just like sugar, refined carbohydrates such as white rice, regular spaghetti, and white breads can also wreak havoc on glucose levels and lead to disruptive sleep patterns and a more depressive state.