Lighten up: Foods That Fight Depression
Folate can be found in most fruit and vegetables, with high concentrations in asparagus, spinach and avocado. Other folate-rich foods include:
- Chicken and liver
- Sweet potato and navy beans
- Papayas and bananas (or any fruit or vegetable with orange and yellow pigments)
- Red bell peppers
- Sunflower seeds
- Basil and St. John's wort
You'll find natural combinations of B6 and zinc in watercress, Swiss chard, romaine, kale, beets and mustard greens. For easy ways to add folate to your diet, try some of these ideas:
1. Sprinkle a few strawberries on your favourite breakfast cereal
2. Drink a glass of 100% orange juice with your breakfast each morning
3. Substitute darker green lettuce or raw spinach in salads and sandwiches
Vitamin deficiency isn't the only thing that can lead to depression: an absence of certain minerals from your diet can also have an alarming effect. A regular supply of iron and selenium will lift your spirits and keep you healthy. Deficiencies in either of these minerals can often show up in the form of a bad mood. Iron is readily available in meat; and the darker the better. Vegetarians can source it in green leafy vegetables, legumes and fortified cereals. The best sources for selenium include Brazil nuts, tuna, salmon, brown rice, barley and bulgur wheat.
Carbs and Fats
Carbohydrates are also capable of raising serotonin levels in the brain and therefore boosting your mood. But with all the bad press carbs have been getting recently, it's best to make sure you eat the right kind.