Depression can be a debilitating illness, one that we are only now just beginning to really understand. The National Institute for Mental Health states that in 2017 over seven percent of all adults in the United States dealt with at least one bout of major depression. As the conversation around mental health and wellness becomes more mainstream, more and more individuals have access to information on what to do if they are or a loved one is suffering from depression.
While it is always important to get professional help when possible, there are still things you can do to help manage the symptoms of a mood disorder. Previously, Heather Hanks wrote about '5 Coping Techniques to Use When You Are Feeling Down', including physical activity and confiding in others.
There is also an important link between food and mental health. You can make diet adjustments for maximum mental health benefits. However, not everyone suffering from a mood disorder has the energy to put together a full meal. Here are a few things you can eat to boost your mood, including a few supplements for when you need a convenient solution.
Fatty fish are quite rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which pack many health benefits, including improving heart and brain health. They are also proven to improve both your mood and overall mental health. Research has found that omega-3 fatty acids play a role in managing the symptoms of major mood disorders like depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. InnovixLabs has a great budget fish oil supplement that has triple-strength omega-3s, ensuring you get the most effective dosage possible.
If you need a quick pick-me-up, chocolate is usually the best choice for a sugar fix. The Psychiatric Times reports that dark chocolate has been found to reduce the risk of depression. You do not even need to eat a lot of it— around twelve grams of dark chocolate per day was enough to make a difference for the survey respondents. Chocolate is rich in flavonols that improve mood and condition and phenylethylamine, which increases the release of dopamine.
Food Rich in Vitamin D
Vitamin D has been proven to ease the symptoms of depression. In fact, research has proven that low levels of vitamin D have been associated with both major and minor depression, faster cognitive decline, and other mood disorders. Most individuals living in America have insufficient vitamin D levels, which is why it's important to ensure that you're getting a steady supply. Egg yolks, mushrooms, and fatty fish like salmon are great sources of vitamin D. If these are not widely available in your area, you can choose a vitamin supplement like Brightcore's Radiance. It has 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per serving, which is a big enough serving to ensure that you are getting the recommended daily dose.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Finally, one of the best things you should add to your diet is leafy green vegetables. Leafy green vegetables are quite rich in folate, which is essential for metabolizing serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. These are all important in stabilizing moods. While the link has not been fully explored, research has shown that individuals with depression tend to have lower blood levels of folate as well as a lower dietary intake of it. Vegetables also have many other health benefits. Thus, you are keeping your body and mind healthy at the same time.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will cure a mood disorder. The best thing to do is to take several approaches to improve your mood, whether medical, physical, social, or dietary, and ensure that you are maintaining these approaches as best as possible. Always check in with your nutritionist or doctor before adding supplements to your diet, and be sure to take care of yourself as much as possible.