While eating certain foods can't cure depression, there are dietary changes you can make that can help. Incorporating the right foods and eating habits into your overall treatment plan can help you fight back against depression or seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD.
Food and Diet Tips for People with Depression
- Plan your meals ahead of time. Eating at about the same time every day, avoiding skipping meals, and planning what you'll eat for meals and snacks makes it easier to give your body the nutrients it needs over the course of the day, which can have a significant impact on your mood and energy levels.
- Feed your body quality nutrients. It's especially important for people with a history of depression to eat foods that are good for the body and brain, even when you're trying to lose weight. Focus on a balanced diet that includes quality proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. And make sure you're getting at least 1,000 calories per day to keep your serotonin levels up!
- Eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s found in cold-water fish, soybeans, walnuts, and ground flaxseed can help with depression. They're also good for your heart!
- Eat complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates, including those found in brown rice and whole-grain breads, boost serotonin levels in the brain and help decrease the symptoms of depression.