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Does Nutrition Affect Depression & Anxiety?

May 12, 2021

One of the most excluded areas of mental health is nutrition.  Food does play a significant role.  According to Jodi Clarke, MA, reviewed by Dr. Steen Gans, when you are trying to cope with depression, small changes in your diet may help to decrease your symptoms & could have a positive effect on your daily activities.

Fish is a great choice to help fight depression because they are rich in omega-3 fats.  Omega-3 fats are very important in brain health and may be applied in the functioning of serotonin, which is important in the regulation of mood.  A study that was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, found that people who consumed the most fish were less likely to experience depression.

Chicken & turkey are excellent sources of lean protein that can help maintain blood sugar levels, keeping your mood well-balanced during the day.  Both are also a source of tryptophan, which helps create serotonin.  That will assist in maintaining healthy sleep & balance our mood.

Although eating vegetables is important for everyone, it is especially important for those that struggle with depression.  One reason is that people with depression have been found to have a lower intake of folate than people without depression.  Folate & fiber, found especially in dark leafy greens, help to improve & stabilize your mood.  

Last, more & more research is linking good stomach health with mental health.  Several studies have found that probiotics can play a pivotal role in the regulation of moods by helping to reduce inflammation in your body which in turn affects your stress response.

Nutrition is a very important part of everyone's life.  What we put into our bodies can ultimately affect our mental health.  Who would ever have thought that!  Of course, it is not an easy thing to totally change the foods we eat.  Make it a gradual process over time and still eat what you like but in moderation of course.