3 Unexpected foods that can help you beat the blues
- By Carolanne Wright - May 04, 2014
Who hasn't, at one point or another, battled with depression? That unmistakable energy-zapping, soul-crushing and utterly unpleasant state. In these uncertain times of economic failure, joblessness and threats to home and food security, it's no wonder rates of depression are on the rise. But before relying on risky pharmaceutical antidepressants, consider food-based solutions instead.
A nutrient dense diet can go a long way in fending off, if not downright curing, fits of depression. Be that as it may, certain edibles are better at targeting the blues than others. The following three examples have shown exceptional promise in helping to defeat depressive mental states.
Fish. A diet low in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked with mood disorders like depression. If you would like to keep a bright outlook, fatty fish such as salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel are excellent choices. Everyday Health notes that "Japanese researchers found that a diet high in fish protects people from depression and suicide, while in Finland a team of researchers surveyed 1,767 residents and concluded that eating fish more than twice a week has a protective effect against suicide and depression." If you are avoiding fish (or adhere to a vegetarian diet), plant-based sources of omega-3s include sacha inchi, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and chia.
Turmeric. Good news for all you curry fans out there -- it turns out turmeric is superior to Prozac in treating depression. A groundbreaking study in Phytotherapy Research has shown that the bioactive component in turmeric, known as curcumin, "is both safe and effective in treating serious states of depression," according to GreenMed Info. As an added perk, curcumin actually provides "side-benefits" -- protective and healing attributes that go far beyond the management of depression. You can learn more here.
If using turmeric powder to enhance mental function and health, a small pinch of non-irradiated black pepper will improve bioavailability and absorption. Researchers have found that up to 8 grams of turmeric can be consumed per day without adverse effect.
Green Tea. Not only is green tea good for keeping the body healthy and fit, but it also encourages positive mental states. The secret lies with L-theanine -- a naturally occurring amino acid in green tea that supports clarity while decreasing anxiety and depression. "They say Japanese Buddhist monks could meditate for hours, both alert and relaxed. One reason may have been an amino acid in their green tea called L-theanine," said Mark Blumenthal, of the American Botanical Council, in the Health article, "19 Natural Remedies for Anxiety."
One key distinction of the above foods is that they are all anti-inflammatory. Evidently when chronic, low-grade inflammation is present, our risk of depression increases substantially. Ultimately, getting to the root of inflammation is best for naturally eradicating depression. However, until the cause of inflammation is addressed thoroughly, fatty fish, turmeric and green tea can help take the edge off and balance moods.
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About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.
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