Photo: Getty Images
It’s widely known that having a healthy diet can make you feel better, and depression is no exception. Even if having a healthy diet doesn’t relieve all depression symptoms, it certainly can’t hurt. Some experts give suggestions on what foods and drinks you should ingest or skip to improve your depression.
Trudy Scott, a food mood expert, nutritionist and president of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, recently published her book “The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help you Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings.”
“An Australian study looking at both anxiety and depression among women found a link between better diet quality and better mental health,” she stated in an email, with quotes pulled from her book. “Among the participants, those who ate a whole foods diet of vegetables, fruit, fish, whole grains, and grass-fed lean red meat and lamb had a lower risk of both anxiety and depression.”
The “traditional” diet referred to above is compared to a usual Western diet that consists mainly of “processed, refined, fried, and sugary foods and beer.” Even the women who had a supposedly healthy diet were more depressed. This diet included “fruit, salads, fish, tofu, beans, nuts, yogurt, and red wine.”
Jennifer Cassetta, a clinical nutritionist and the founder of the “Health and the City” program, said in an email that controlling blood sugar levels can be key to fighting depression.
“Steadying the blood sugar is the best way to avoid energy dips that can lead to feelings of depression,” Cassetta said. “The best way to start this is to specifically avoid drinks that spike the blood sugar like sodas, sugary juices, iced teas with added sugar and even ‘fancy’ coffee drinks like frappucinos. Instead hydrate with water or sparkling water and add natural flavors like lemon, lime or cucumber. Brew herbal teas and add a light sweetener like agave nectar or a touch of honey.”