Did you know that depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the US, with an estimated 16.2 million people have had at least one major depressive episode in a given year?
It’s hardly surprising when you think about it, given the stresses of modern-day life in the US, as well as the day-to-day pressures of raising a family.
Fortunately, if your family is affected by depression or you are worried about your partner or children developing this mood-altering disorder, there is a simple way that you can help your loved ones to overcome this condition.
Yes, simply by changing your family’s diet, you can help them both fights off depression and improve their overall well-being and mental health.
1. Oily fish
Packed with omega-3s, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and tuna are all great choices if you are trying to ward off depression. Omega-3 has the ability to improve your overall brain health and function, as well as to help with the production of serotonin, the happy hormone.
If your family are not overly keen on oily fish, there are several tasty dishes that you can incorporate this protein source into such as fishcakes, fish pie, and even within a simple pasta recipe.
As long as you forgo the salted varieties, nuts are incredibly good for both your physical and mental health. Walnuts in particular are known for supporting your brain health and just ¼ cup of walnuts per day can lower your likelihood of suffering from depression. Plus, your children are more likely to be willing to eat a handful of nuts a day than they are to eat a plate of mackerel!
That being said, if your child is suffering with depression and you think that they need professional teen depression help, you should act sooner rather than later as the right treatment plan can help ensure your child enjoys long-term recovery and a future of good mental health.
Probiotics are predominantly known for improving your gut health and digestive system. The Nutrition Insider has more information on this, but more and more research is linking probiotics with good mental health.
Why is this? Put simply, the microorganisms in your gut can help to both regulate your mood and reduce inflammation in your body, both of which can negatively affect your stress response.
If you do not want to spend a fortune on expensive probiotic drinks, look for foods that contain these healthy bacteria such as miso, tofu, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Probiotic supplements for gut health are also a convenient option for those looking to enhance their gut microbiota.
A simple and budget-friendly ingredient, the humble tomato is packed with depression fighters such as folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid. A lack of folic acid in your diet can restrict the production of important neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, all of which help to regulate your mood.
Tomatoes can be eaten fresh, canned, frozen, and in sauces, and all will have the exact same effects on your body.
Another store cupboard staple, beans are cheap and incredibly versatile as an ingredient for family meals. Plus, they help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which in turn help to regulate your mood.
Furthermore, they are great for weight loss as they are low in fat but high in fiber so they keep you fuller for longer.
Foods to avoid if you have depression
- Refined, convenience foods
- Processed oils
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