*First off: Check with your doctor or medical professional before changing your diet.*
Eat what makes your body feel good.
That’s my current motto on nutrition and mental health. It came from the idea that everyone is different which means the way everyone eats won’t be the same. Our bodies all need the basic nutrients such as proteins, carbs, vitamins and mineral. What is different is how our body reacts to certain foods that contain the nutrients we need.
In my quest to find and try the best foods for depression and for my health in general I began my own personal research. (I also took into consideration the uniqueness of every individual and focused on the a wide range of foods that contain nutrients that boost mental health.) After reading an abundance of info on nutrition and applying the new information to my daily routine, I saw that my mental health improved. I also saw improvement in my energy levels, clarity and focus. If you’re looking to add some mental health boosting foods to your daily life, these foods are considered the best foods when dealing with depression.
Green Leafy/Cruciferous Veggies
Vegetables, especially green cruciferous vegetables contain large amounts of antioxidants, and chemicals that help balance out gut health. They balance out your blood sugar and keep your hunger receptors in check (so you don’t feel hungry all the time). They also help detoxify your liver to help rid your body toxins. In addition to all of that, they also contain the chemicals such as Vitamin B, C, Zinc, manganese, zinc and folate. Those are all the common vitamins and minerals that usually low in people with depressive symptoms. There’s so many cruciferous veggies to choose from you have plenty of options to find what you like best.
Omega 3 Rich Foods
Foods with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids are good for boosting and regulating your mood. They also may help your body regulate hormones. The brain is made up of mostly fat and water, so it needs healthy fats (along with water) to thrive. Eating more food with omega-3s can boost your mental clarity, focus and memory. Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocados are great sources of omega-3s if you’re looking to add some foods to your daily routine.
Nuts and Seeds
If you’re looking for a snack that’s good for you and kills hunger nuts and seeds are the best. Nuts and seeds are full of natural protein and vitamins. They are full of zinc, vitamin e, and healthy fats that support good brain health. They’ll keep you full and boost your mood while fueling your body with the energy. You can try a variety of nuts and seeds to find which ones you like the best. You can add chia seeds to mixed berries in the morning, snack on almonds throughout the day or make a pumpkin seed pesto to go on gluten-free pasta.
In the mornings, our family eats breakfast and drink a cup of tea. It relaxes us and wakes us up to get our day started. Tea is also a great antioxidant which means it helps your liver out with detoxing chemicals. Although, we usually drink it for breakfast, we sometimes have it in the evening too. Green teas are good for energy, and chamomile and lavender are good for calming. You can choose what type of tea you want to drink by how you want to feel and what works well for your body. There are so many different combinations of flavors, you can pick one that you like and drink it whenever you need a boost or want to relax.
If you didn’t know already your gut and brain are in a relationship. A healthy gut is important in having a healthy mind. Since most of the chemicals our bodies need are made in the gut, eating foods that support good gut health can boost brain function too. Probiotics help balance out the good and bad bacteria levels in the gut so that it can work better. You can get probiotics in pill form or by eating wildly fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
What to Avoid or Eat Less of
Sugar, especially white processed sugar has been proven to weaken the immune system, imbalance hormones and reduce mental function. Eating less sugary foods may help boost your mental health and lower depressive symptoms.
Allergens to wheat/gluten are common in those with depressive symptoms. Because of the way wheat is processed today, it isn’t the best source of nutrients. It could also damage the gut, which can cause depressive symptoms and digestive issues. There could be a great benefit in reducing or avoiding wheat and gluten in your daily life.
Our bodies are made up of mostly water that is used to keep it functioning well. Sodas and energy drinks contain water, but they’re filled with sugar which can damage the gut and brain function. Limiting the amount of sugary beverages can lower negative symptoms of depression.
Eating less dairy products may help increase the brain function and energy levels. Since dairy can cause inflammation and digestive issues in some people, lowering the amount of dairy in your daily routine may also decrease depressive symptoms.
Frozen foods such as precooked frozen meals may lead to inflammation in the gut which can lower the immune system. That means depressive symptoms like low energy, decrease in mood and brain function can develop. Eating less processed foods and eating more fresh cooked foods may give your mental health a boost.
Did you find this info useful and relevant? Comment below to tell me what you think. Have you ever tried any of these foods?
Important Note: I am not a certified and trained professional. All wellness coaching plans and all information and services provided by and/or facilitated by me are not a substitute for counseling and/or therapy from a trained and certified mental health professional, consultation from a trained and certified medical doctor, and/or consultation from a trained and certified nutritionist/dietitian. None of the wellness coaching plans and any information provided have been evaluated by the FDA and are used to diagnose or treat any illness. I urge you to seek professional help from a certified and trained professional if you are in an immediate crisis or suicidal. And if you are currently being seen by a trained and certified mental health professional, make sure to share all information about any courses you are taking, and coaching services provided by me or any other business/coach.If you or someone you know is in an immediate crisis, get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit The International Association for Suicide Prevention (www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/) to be connected to a trained counselor at a crisis center nearby.
Hi I’m Jasmine!
I’m so happy to meet you! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I’m a SAHM, veteran army wife, women’s integrative wellness coach, writer and veggie lover. Most days you can find me spending time with family, homeschooling, cooking, walking in nature or browsing through the grocery store. My passion is to help women (like you) heal mentally, spiritually and physically from depression. That’s why I created this amazing mental health journal to guide you to recovery.
Don’t leave yet! Let’s hang out a little longer 🙂 Read more about me and my personal recovery story here.
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