Lighten up: Foods That Fight Depression
About 50-55 percent of our calories should come from carbohydrates, according to US Government Diet Guidelines. That makes sense when you think about it, because it's the carbohydrates that give us our energy.
There are two kinds of carbs you should be aware of:
a) Starches (complex carbohydrates) found in cereals, pulses and potatoes
b) Sugars found in fruit and vegetables
Bad carbohydrates are the sugars and starches found in processed foods. When it comes to carbs, brown is better, and natural is nutritious. Some of the best sources of carbohydrates include:
- Bread (brown or whole wheat)
- Oats and breakfast cereals (whole grain where possible)
- Pasta and noodles (whole wheat)
- Rice and potatoes (including sweet potatoes)
- Beans and lentils (fresh, unprocessed if possible)
To ensure your diet contains enough carbohydrates, try to cook up menu ideas so they include them:
1. Try to eat at least 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables a day
2. Sprinkle ground flax seed on your cereal and salads, or substitute flax seed oil for other oils
3. Add a few beans to your salads, soups, or stews to mix things up a bit
To stay in a good mood, avoid fatty foods. Some fats are actually good for you, however. Omega-3 fatty acids boost brain functions and fight depression. But your body can't make them by itself: the only way to get them is through your diet. The best source is seafood, especially cold water oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. You can also get reasonable quantities from flaxseed and eggs.