In 2020, anxiety and depression were up across the nation compared to the same time last year, according to the CDC.
The first reaction people have is take a pill. But there are better ways to more methodically engineer homeostasis within.
Eating healthier can improve such symptoms as fatigue, which can then lead to other mood-helping habits like exercise. And a growing body of research says that certain nutrients can help stop anxiety and depression.
Add More Fat
People who consume a Mediterranean diet—high in omega-3s, nuts, vegetables and whole grains, but low in meat and dairy—are least likely to have anxiety.
Healthy fats help to lower your inflammation (which is linked to depression) and boost your production of brain proteins that influence the brain’s ability to make new connections, says Jody Bergeron, RN.
What to do: Eat more fatty fish, walnuts, and avocados.
Twelve minerals and vitamins have been shown to help depressive disorders.
A large study concluded that taking a full spectrum of 30+ vitamins and minerals can ease mood dysregulation, anxiety and ADHD.
Your brain and gut have a direct communication, so these nutrients will impact your inflammation levels and mood, Bergeron says.
Vegetables and whole grains maintain your gut health—which produces nearly 90 percent of the happiness hormone called serotonin.
What to do: Eat leafy greens, whole grains (oats, rice), nuts, beans, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage) and berries. Also get more probiotics from things like kombucha and yogurt.
Remove Sugar to Delete Depression
Men who consume sugar are almost a quarter more likely to have depression or anxiety, while a low-sugar diet helps older adults keep depression away.
Too much sugar creates insulin resistance, which triggers the release of stress hormones. And higher glucose levels also slow your brain cell growth and lower your overall connectivity.
What to do: Cut the sugar.
The Nutrition Plan To Fight Depression And Anxiety
- Breakfast: Green tea, grapefruit half, one omelet with veggies, herbs, some cheese, and olive oil, with a side of toast (whole-grain).
- First Snack: Cottage cheese with blueberries.
- Lunch: Black beans, corn, red cabbage, avocado, leafy greens, cheese and salsa.
- Second Snack: Some 60 percent dark chocolate along with almonds.
- Dinner: Broiled sockeye salmon with brown rice and steamed asparagus.
- Dessert: Plain Greek yogurt with berries