Anxiety and depression: 6 foods that can help

Anxiety and depression: 6 foods that can help

Tuna and salmon are two fatty fish sources of omega-3 and vitamin B that can benefit your mood.

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Current research reveals that diet can also have an impact on mental health. In the field of nutritional psychiatry, patients are helped to understand how gut health and diet can positively or negatively affect mood.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding foods that cause inflammation can protect against depression. “A better diet can help, but it’s only part of the treatment,” says Dr. Uma Naidoo, director of nutritional psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

There are some foods that can help control occasional anxiety and improve mood. Here 5 of them:

1. Fatty fish

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Fatty fish is a source of omega-3 fatty acids. A study conducted with Ohio State University medical students in 2011 was one of the first to show that omega-3s can help reduce anxiety.

Tuna and salmon are two fatty fish that are also rich in vitamin B12 and of the few foods that contain this vitamin D naturally. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to symptoms like depression, confusion, dementia and poor memory. Some studies find that depression is more likely with low levels of vitamin D.

2. Brazil nuts

brazil nut
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Selenium can improve mood by reducing inflammation, which is often found at elevated levels when someone has a mood disorder, such as anxiety.

Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, but should be eaten in moderation as they contain very high amounts of selenium if ingested in excess it can be dangerous.

3. Chia and pumpkin seeds

Fruit and chia
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Chia seeds and pumpkin seeds are a source of magnesium. Naidoo explains via Harvard Health that magnesium-rich foods can help you feel calmer. “Stress can also deplete our magnesium levels.”

4. Turmeric

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Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation and oxidative stress that are often increased in people who experience mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

5. Berries

Chia and berries
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Berries like strawberries and blackberries are rich in anthocyanins, antioxidant polyphenols and with anti-inflammatory effects. Berries can help improve neuroplasticity which is the brain’s ability to form new connections and holistic psychologist Nicole Lippman-Barile believes that Adding berries to your diet can support your mental well-being.

6. Chocolate

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Dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids than other types of chocolate. Cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavonoids, powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.

Cocoa also contains caffeine and theobromine, which act as stimulants. Theobromine is an alkaloid that manages to stimulate the nervous system. For this reason, when consuming cocoa, we can experience a feeling of enthusiasm, animation or happiness, points out the Observatorio del Cacao. Chocolate also contains tryptophan which the body uses to produce melatonin and serotonin.

Occasional anxiety or anxiety disorder

It is common for people to experience occasional anxiety in situations such as facing a problem, taking a test, or making an important decision. But in people with anxiety disorders, anxiety doesn’t go away and tends to get worse over time.

Anxiety disorders as well as depression require medical attention. Generally are treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both.

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