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Top five foods that help combat depression

Here are five foods that have been shown to help beat depression.

Chocolate can be a source of certain chemicals that can help in the fight against depression. iStockphoto.com
Chocolate can be a source of certain chemicals that can help in the fight against depression. iStockphoto.com

According to the World Health Organisation there are approximately 350 million people worldwide affected by depression. In the UAE, just over four per cent of the population have been diagnosed as depressed.

According to the Mayo Clinic, depression may be associated with a variety of symptoms including lethargy, irritability, changes in appetite, restlessness, fatigue, lack of concentration and many more.

A common way to treat depression is through antidepressants. While in some cases they can be essential for relief and recovery, they have side effects that can be problematic. Also, they do not tend to treat the underlying causes of depression, which have sometimes been attributed to nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalance.

Here are five foods, as also noted in Natural News, that have been shown to help beat depression, providing your body with the tools to begin alleviating causatory factors.

Omega 3

Research has shown that people with depression are often deficient in essential fatty acids. A 2002 study featured in the Archives of General Psychiatry showed that patients with depression who took just one gram of fish oil a day felt a 50 per cent reduction in their symptoms. Eat oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds.

Raw cacao

Cacao happens to be one of the richest sources of magnesium, the relaxing mineral for the body in both the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Cacao also contains theobromine, a non-addictive stimulant that may help alleviate depression. This also allows the brain to produce more anandamide, which is responsible for that feel-good sensation you often get after eating chocolate.

Brown rice

B vitamins are an essential component for our mood and nervous system. In fact, the way our body deals with stress is largely dependent on these vitamins. Brown rice is rich in vitamins B1, B3, folic acid, fibre and trace minerals while being a low GI food, giving a sustained form of energy without blood-sugar spikes. Brown rice nourishes and stabilises the body effectively.

Brewer’s yeast

Unless you are yeast intolerant, this superfood provides a plethora of B vitamins, amino acids and minerals that are vital for the healthy functioning of the nervous system. The more we support the nervous system, the less potential for depression.

Wholegrain oats

As well as being rich in B vitamins, folic acid and fibre, oats also soothe the intestines. As our digestive health is strongly correlated with our emotional and mental state, it is crucial that our digestion is calm and relaxed.

Laura Holland is a well-being consultant and nutritional therapist. Visit www.beutifulYou.co.uk

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