With the stress of the times, feelings of depression can set in. It’s very important that you follow a healthy eating plan to keep your emotional and mental health in check! Depression is categorized as feeling sad, having low energy, or loss of interest in activities you normally would enjoy. It can cause sleeping difficulty and can make you feel cloudy-headed which can cause you to not make good decisions about your diet.
When depression strikes, your body has a lower level of serotonin, this is the hormone that makes you feel happy. Depression can put your body under stress, which would lead to inflammation of the gut and affects the way you think and feel.
What to do:
Choose certain foods that can combat the feeling of depression. They will also put the good bacteria in your gut to help level out the imbalance. Concentrate on these foods:
- Omega 3 fatty acids – These are essential amino acids that our bodies can only get from foods. Your body doesn’t make these. Sources include fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna, seeds like chia and flax, and nuts like walnuts.
- Fiber – Fiber doesn’t break down, your body can’t digest fiber so it aids with digestion. Fiber helps feed the good bacteria in the gut and helps create the bulk in stools so the bad stuff can be removed. Sources include whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread, beans, and legumes. As you increase your fiber intake, make sure you increase your water intake as well, or you would have the opposite effect. To read more about fiber, check out this post.
- Vitamins B9 & B12 are important vitamins that protect your brain cells. You will find them in legumes, leafy green veggies like kale and spinach. Here’s a recipe you will want to try out using kale!
- Prebiotics, probiotics, and fermented foods are great for a healthy gut.
Try to avoid these foods that may provide you with comfort momentarily, but can harm your digestion as well as your cardiovascular system:
- Processed foods
- Refined sugars
- Artificial sweeteners
- Trans fat
- Fried Foods
By eating a well-balanced diet without all of the added processed items, you will make your gut healthy and happy! Limit the processed foods and increase your healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins to steer you away from depression. For more on mood and food, check out my post on improving your mood here.
To join my mailing list to receive free recipes and nutrition tips, click here. You will also receive a free gift just for signing up!