5 Healthy Snacks that Help Treat Depression
In this article, we’ll show you several healthy snacks that can help you treat depression. Additionally, we’ll also tell you about the foods you should avoid or eat less of if you suffer from this disorder.
It’s important to keep in mind that food is a supplement, but it’s not a replacement for medical treatment.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that depression is a very common mental illness worldwide.
Its main characteristics are feelings of sadness, guilt, or lack of self-esteem. In addition, people may feel a lack of interest in pleasure and sleep and may experience appetite and concentration issues and overall fatigue.
Also, WHO notes that depression can be chronic or happen in episodes. This greatly affects peoples’ daily activities, as well as their ability to face daily life.
No one is exempt from having this mental disorder, and it can affect anyone. After all, everyone experiences stress and anxiety, both at home and at work.
According to the WHO, depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide. Between 2005 and 2015, cases have increased by more than 18%.
Unfortunately, this disease can lead to a serious health problem. When it goes on for a long time, it can get moderately worse or severely worse.
In the worst cases, it can lead to suicide. Every year, nearly 800,000 people take their own lives. In addition, this action is the second cause of death in the age group between 15 and 29, according to data from the WHO.
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Although there are effective treatments to treat depression, half of the people that have this condition don’t receive them.
One of the main obstacles for treatment is that there aren’t a lot of resources or experts available.In addition, there’s also a huge stigma that exists about mental disorders.
Additionally, people that suffer from depression may also get incorrect diagnoses. The opposite also happens when people who don’t have this disease are misdiagnosed. Unfortunately, many people get antidepressants that they don’t actually need.
Therefore, we’ll give you a list of healthy snacks that can help you treat depression.
However, keep in mind that you should always talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for you.
5 Healthy Snacks to Help Treat Depression
Believe it or now, your blood sugar levels may have something to do with depression. Luckily, there are foods that help you balance the glucose in your body. In addition, they can calm your nervous system and help boost your emotional well-being.
This is where oats play a fundamental role. Thanks to the fiber they contain, they help calm your digestive system and keep your blood sugar up. This can help prevent sudden mood swings.
Additionally, this whole gran also gives your body vitamins B1, B6 an B5. These nutrients can help keep you emotionally stable, since they influence the production of brain chemicals that affect your mood.
- To take advantage of its benefits, you can eat oatmeal and other different varieties of oats. For example, you could eat a fruit salad with toasted oats.
Walnuts and other nuts are also one of the most recommended healthy snacks to treat depression.
Nuts omega 3 fatty acids, an essential element for your brain to work properly. Studies show that low levels of omega 3 may be one of the causes of depression. Therefore, these can help you stay in a good mood, as well as improve your cardiovascular system.
Similarly, eating nuts on a regular basis will help you concentrate and keep your brain active. In addition, over time, it can prevent cognitive deterioration.
3. Dark Chocolate to Help Treat Depression
Cocoa-rich dark chocolate contains antioxidants that will help you stop free radicals from causing problems.
Likewise, eating it stimulates serotonin in the brain. This is a substance that improves mood and reduces cortisol.
This food is a perfect snack. Eating it in small amounts can be very healthy for your body and mind. However, make sure that you buy chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa.
4. Bananas or Plantains
Both bananas and plantains are rich in magnesium.
People who deal with stress, depression or anxiety can benefit a lot from eating these foods, since they boost mineral levels.
Apples are a source of antioxidants that help your brain function properly.
Additionally, they help make neurotransmitters like dopamine that help you think positively.
Foods to Avoid When Trying to Treat Depression
If you have depression or think you might have it, in addition to eating healthy snacks, you should avoid eating these foods:
- Excessive coffee and caffeinated tea
- Fatty foods
- Foods with refined sugar
- Soft drinks and alcohol
- Foods with artificial sweeteners
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Ried K, Fakler P, Stocks NP. Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Apr 25;4(4):CD008893. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008893.pub3. PMID: 28439881; PMCID: PMC6478304.
- Wang J, Um P, Dickerman BA, Liu J. Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium and Depression: A Review of the Evidence, Potential Mechanisms and Implications. Nutrients. 2018 May 9;10(5):584. doi: 10.3390/nu10050584. PMID: 29747386; PMCID: PMC5986464.